From Friday 3 September until Saturday 9 October 2021
Gerhard Hofland is proud to present Pola V, an exhibition with new paintings by German artist Jochen Mühlenbrink (1980, DE). This is Mühlenbrink’s fifth solo-exhibition with the gallery.
Perhaps best known for his exquisite trompe l’oeil techniques, Mühlenbrink’s latest series of paintings can best be regarded as a philosophical approach to painting. By executing seemingly natural optic effects in paint, he is investigating the ambiguity of reality. Mühlenbrink’s works are depictions of physical reality, fictitious images and physical objects at the same time. Fogged windowpanes, for example, are in reality nothing but oil on canvas and exist both through the illusion they produce and the material of which they consist.
These fogged windows are balancing between a celebration of painterly illusion and dystopian iconoclasm. The fog panes – their pristine surfaces disturbed by a seeming finger – at once becomes an image-in-image and also shows what can be seen through them. While the paintings are nothing but oil on canvas, Mühlenbrink appears to construct reality from paint, both as an illusion and as the object itself. The tension his paintings produce, especially in relation to the connection between perception and expectation (that what we see, what we think we see and what we see because we expect to see it), is an experience that is upsetting our idea of reality: we see an illusion, but we are simultaneously convinced by the power and autonomy of pure paint.
Jochen Mühlenbrink, Afterimage (Triptych VIII), 2020,
200 x 400 x 30 cm, 3 parts,
Oil on canvas