Nachlass Susanne Paesler, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Susanne Paesler, who was born in Darmstadt in 1963 and died in Berlin way too early in 2006, is part of a generation of artists who have bid farewell to the modernist concept of the picture as a place of constantly renewed aesthetic visions that outplay each other. Instead of adding a further individual form of expression to the different kinds of handwriting and styles that have developed in the 20th century, their artistic work discusses the meaning of the artwork itself in a world full of already existing images and reproducible structures. This attitude is already documented in Paesler’s earliest works made at the beginning of the 1990s. Superficially seen, they cultivate the geometric form language of an entirely self-referential constructivist artwork, while pattern and choice of color still always refer to extra-pictorial contexts. Accordingly, her paintings are sometimes reminiscent of cheap woolen blankets, sometimes of Burlington socks or Burberry coats – everyday objects that serve her as both motive and model for her works. Instead of following the principle of the readymade and mounting fabric directly onto stretchers (in reference to Hoehme’s damask and Palermo’s fabric works), the artist manually copies the patterns so that art, handcraft and design enter into a fluent exchange. Where have the once so iron aesthetic borders between applied arts and fine arts gone?
Based on this strategic approach it is almost logical that in the course of the 1990s Susanne Paesler dealt with the motive of the frame – as a henceforth painted! picture border –, the trompe l’œil and the “picture within the picture.” Her paintings are picture puzzles that withdraw themselves from any sort of definition and identification. Individuality and authenticity to Paesler are merely aesthetic visions that she mistrusts. This is especially visible in the works made around the turn of the millennium in which she quotes the styles of artists like Baumeister, Hartung and Pollock, adapting a handwriting that meanwhile has become a pattern of Modernism itself. Today, even the genuine subject of the gesture is easily digitally reproducible, as demonstrated in Paesler’s “pixelated gestures,” two paintings from 2003. The artist shows painting on its search for itself.
Kunstmuseum Bonn presents the first overview of Susanne Paesler’s work in the Rhineland. The exhibition includes more than 40 works from 1991 to 2006 and will be on display at SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen after its presentation in Bonn. The show will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with an essay by Martina Dobbe and an interview between curator Christoph Schreier and Hamburg-based art historian and Paesler expert Hanne Loreck,
With kind support from Galerie Barbara Weiss.
Kunstmuseum Bonn - Susanne Paesler - 21.10.2015 - 05.06.2016
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