ART ROTTERDAM 2020
BOOTH 45 – MAIN SECTION
205 x 440 cm
Acrylic on linen, 2020
Pointless Bid Of Control
180 x 140 cm
Oil on canvas, 2020
Typewriter drawing on Japanese paper, 2020
WITH LUCY CORDES ENGELMAN
By applying glazed layers in combination with hard-edge painted lines, Mullen (Glasgow,1985) creates layered images that figuratively communicate abstract concepts creating the impression of reproducibility, which is precisely what he seeks to highlight in an era of mass consumption.
In collaboration with his wife, American artist and filmmaker Lucy Cordes Engelman (Washington 1987) Mullen paints as a conduit for her sensorial experience between color and time assisting him on the definition of chromatic matches in their paintings. The couple’s creative process begins by choosing specific dates. Each date turns into a mathematical fraction which results in specific color in Lucy’s brain. Engelman unveils the codes of time, discovering each number’s colors through her very own eyes.
The precise match between pigmentation and geometry present in the synesthesia’s set creates unusual perspectives, and confuses the viewer optical illusion, in a direct reference to the kinetic movement in the 50s. Canvases gain volume appearing to look like an encrustation of dozens of multicolored glass plates that move toward the observer.
Cathrin Hoffmann is a German, Hamburg based artist, who grew up in the 90s
Often, at first glance, her paintings seem deterrent. And despite the clear graphic visual language, the figurative shapes do not seem immediately recognizable as beings. Yet, those who connive at the alleged nauseated impulse will moreover find humor and hope in her paintings.
As a visual narrator, Hoffmann looks at our society with the inherent human mortal existence of every individual. IS EVERYTHING A MYTH? That ambivalence generates her artistic tension, which is reflected in the aesthetics of the interplay of certain surfaces and becomes the mirror of our humanity. Smooth and polished with artificial 3D feel, which organically unites into strange bodies. For this she uses those image processing programs, she learned in the course of her education as a graphic designer and misuses those same effects until the pixels evolve into creatures. The artificiality is elevated to the form of life. In keeping with the prevailing cultural zeitgeist, which is characterized by the affinity for a copy, it finally reproduces its digital creation by immortalizing it on canvas in the same way.
While being the human printer, Cathrin competes with the machine and demonstrates on closer scrutiny that she has failed. Those color-saturated digital compositions that glow of illuminated screens, now move to the surfaces of non-sterile canvases where dirt and brush hairs will stick on it. In that fragments of its residual reality, it thrives a maybe even more human and comforting parallel dimension.
Arno Beck, born 1985 in Bonn. Lives and works in Germany
Arno Beck’s prints and conceptual paintings evolve around digital aesthetics and focus on analog production of digital images. Engaging with the language of digital culture the motifs are based on low resolution computer graphics, games and interfaces. It is an interplay between the contemporary digital screen world and traditional techniques.
Focusing on the analog production of computer generated imagery, he transforms those digital images into the pictorial space, capturing digital aesthetics with painterly means. With his hand he interferes where the machine claims its field of competence – humanizing technology and making it less perfect. Due to the lengthy manufacturing process, the deceleration itself becomes a main aspect in times of constant information overload and hasty screen based interactions. The screen world rejects any kind of physically experienceable surface structure and with increasing digitalization the human desire for haptic grows. Consequently, the transformation of those screen based impressions and the materialization into physical, haptic existence become one of the key aspects in his work.
The series of typewriter drawings is rooted in that search for an analog translation of digital imagery into the pictorial space. As these drawings are achieved by typing line by line on Japanese paper using an old-fashioned manual typewriter, Arno Beck utilizes different letters and symbols, which create a variety of differing brightness values. On closer inspection they could remind the viewer of binary codes, emphasizing the connection between the imagery and the digital world. In that particular series he depicts landscapes on an almost photographic level and includes elements from low resolution computer games. By combining those layers, Arno Beck fuses two completely different display modes into a seamless unity, exploring our relationship with the different perceptual realities surrounding us.