MONIKA BAER on view at Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne

Monika Baer, Untitled, 2022/2023. Oil on canvas, 82 5/8 x 65 inches (210 x 165 cm). Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

MONIKA BAER on view in Hoi Köln, Part 3: Nightmare of Painting

Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
February 3 – March 24, 2024

Faced with this rectangular void, anything could happen. The horizon of possibilities seems open. At any moment, an idea could flicker into my consciousness, and I’d be able to get it all on the canvas. Still better, perhaps, the brush could just start moving and the painting, sleepwalker-like, paint itself without me. The void gleams auspiciously; but never for long. Whatever image I may have had in my mind’s eye, it is wrecked by the first brushstroke. Its utter fatuousness is exposed. And every additional brushstroke just makes it worse. If one seems weak, the next, which was supposed to strengthen it, has come straight out of the repertoire of cheap effects. This merry-go-round of recycled gimmicks revolves with a deadening regularity. What’s left for you to do when the dice were all cast in the last century? Hum and ha, paint small paintings, paint huge paintings, dive into abstraction and the morass of ambition, revive formalism, figuration, raise tornados of pigment, embrace minimalism, flirt with technology. Subjects and points of reference change, but their form stays stuck to the ground, as if it were covered with some repulsive, viscous liquid. Trembling, the emoji in oil tries to pull itself out of the morass, drawing long strands behind itself like chewing gum. Brushstrokes as identity crises, with filaments trailing from their lips like burst bubbles of gum.

Curated by Valérie Knoll.

For more information, please visit Kölnischer Kunstverein's website.

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