The Solo Project – Contemporary Art Fair Basel

from Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 to Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The-Solo-Project – Contemporary Art Fair Basel
13 – 17 June 2012
Holzpark Klybeck, Basel, Switzerland

Michael Kirkham
Jochen Mühlenbrink

 

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The Solo Project - Press release

Jochen Mühlenbrink Ohne Titel (Amerika) 2012 170 x 210 cm. olieverf op doek

Michael Kirkham Untitled 2012 oil on canvas 40 x 50 cm.

Jochen Mühlenbrink Bilder Einer Ausstellung (Triptychon) 2012 oil on canvas 220 x 280 cm.

JOCHEN MÜHLENBRINK Untitled, 2012, Oil/Acrylics on canvas, 120 x 100 cm,

Jochen Mühlenbrink Ohne Titel (Amerika) 2012 170 x 210 cm. olieverf op doek

Michael Kirkham Untitled 2012 oil on canvas 40 x 50 cm.

Jochen Mühlenbrink Bilder Einer Ausstellung (Triptychon) 2012 oil on canvas 220 x 280 cm.

JOCHEN MÜHLENBRINK Untitled, 2012, Oil/Acrylics on canvas, 120 x 100 cm,

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The Solo Project – Contemporary Art Fair Basel

Gerhard Hofland is pleased to announce its participation at The Solo Project in Basel
www.the-solo-project.com

Michael Kirkham

The work of Michael Kirkham (1971 Blackpool, GB) is noted for depicting solitary figures captured in provocative poses. The scenes are raw, relentless and uncompromising. In Kirkham’s paintings, carnal desire and the indulgence of the flesh is a mechanism that makes viewers feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Kirkham’s invariably meticulous and loving execution, his sincerity and all but cynical attitude, compels the viewer to look at his uncompromising scenes.
Michael Kirkham completed his formal training at the Glasgow School of Artand De Ateliers in Amsterdam. After graduating, he lived and worked in Brussels for three years before moving to Berlin in 2002. His work is represented in the collections of Gemeentemuseum The Hague, Centraal Museum in Utrecht and the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem. In 2009 Kirkham took part in the exhibition Diana + Actaeon, Der Verbotene Blick auf die Nacktheit in Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf. In 2011 his work was included in exhibitions in Sweden and Norway, and he took part in the exhibition Zwei Sammler in the Dreitorhallen in Hamburg in the summer of 2012 his work is to be seen in the exhibition Eros & Thanatos in the Werkschau in Leipzig.

Jochen Mühlenbrink

It is like looking down onto an arena. The suggestions of tribunes and a playing field. Covert chaos on the tribunes. Danger that lurks after the last whistle has blown. With an arrow indicating the emergency exit. Or perhaps a place where a demonstration has just kicked off. The canopy of a kiosk. Vandalized street furniture. This could be the first impression you get from an associative reading of the images. You know what can happen when everyday objects are transformed and charged with meaning.
Or, quite simply, it is what it is. A cardboard background. Edged with adhesive tape with sticky glue – a restorer’s nightmare. Tape that eventually dissolves and decomposes but was meant to last forever. The leftover fragments of paper with their torn edges all point to the centre; perhaps they are all that remains of posters. The lost subject as motif. With scratches, scrawls and traces of paint that tell us it has been used many times. You can zoom in on the tiniest detail. A voluptuous description packaged as a composition created by pure chance.
Now, however, completely different. Because everything is painted. All is illusion, presented to us so perfectly that we can’t help believing it. And yet, unlike old Dutch trompe l’oeil still life’s, this is not about the triumph of painting or putting the eyes of the viewer to the test. It is about the ability to rediscover oneself again and again – between precisely executed seduction and a self-aware, self-perceiving visual autonomy.
For Jochen Mühlenbrink, abstraction and subject go together. In search of capturing reality he simultaneously undermines it with every stroke of his brush, with the truth of colour and shape, light and shadow, space and plane, gesture and expression.
So doing, he justifies the use of artistic means to form an image of the world around us. Meaning and form: they are almost indistinguishable and yet completely separate. In this complexity lies the gravity of his work and in the self-evidence of his doubt lies our advantage.

Jochen Mühlenbrink won the 66. Internationale Bergischer Kunstpreis 2012. This text is written for the catalogue accompanying the 66. Bergische Kunstaustellung in Kunstmuseum Solingen.

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