Alina Grasmann and Mateusz von Motz:
It’s about time
31 July—4 September 2021
Josef Filipp Galerie is pleased to announce the exhibition of Alina Grasmann and Mateusz von Motz. After their first international successes, the emerging artists are coming together here in Leipzig for a joint appearance. At first glance, their works could not be more different. What unites them, however, apart from their presence in hip media and various online formats, is the content that the works convey: It's about time.
Ann-Kathrin Ntokalou on the works shown by Alina Grasmann:
Alina Grasmann – Florida Spaces
What is it about truth, reality, veracity? Alina Grasmann's series »Florida Räume« poses the question of reality[ies] and their meaning and at the same time constructs a blank space for all viewers. »Florida Rooms« is the rabbit hole and the fire escape, a wide-open window—into [no-]any-where in Florida.
Grasmann carefully composes her »Florida Rooms«, superimposing real places and imagined ones, weaving in quotations, laying tracks. Five large-format works [130 x 180 cm, oil on canvas] form the framework of the series and are linked by five smaller ones [untitled room 1–5]. Almost cinematically, scenes appear here on canvas, each opening up a space for stories, but in the end forming a common narrative that plays out as if in a continuous loop. The scenes from »Florida Räume« flow into each other like a Möbius strip, whose surface has only one edge and one side, revealing no bottom and no top, no inside and no outside.
The series refuses a clear chronology, but at the same time gives the factor of time an important role: »What year is this« flickers on the screen of a television set that has long since gone out of fashion in the work »house taken over«. Is it 1993, as the turquoise T-shirt seems to reveal, or simply 2:22? It's about time—or not. Grasmann's pictures live from a mysterious presence of simultaneity. While light, shadow and reflections vie for the viewer's attention in »yellow flower«, a vase breaks, an owl peers in at the window [»house taken over«], an hourglass runs down [»the continuity of parks«]. Cranach's figures dance around on a photo wallpaper under the apple tree and celebrate »The Golden Age«, while an iPhone display on the bedside table lights up and promises completely different golden times—again it is: 2:22 am.
Hockney's great »Splash« breaks the still water surface in »blow up« and »untitled [room 3]« and with it a horizontal as well as vertical plane—between two images, between two worlds. A momentum, a rupture common to all the works in the series. They all radiate a fragile harmony, a symmetry and tranquillity that is, however, always inscribed with a rupture. Grasmann's current series is the stage of a Theatrum Mundi, triggers associations and invites us to dive in. »Florida Räume« is an enigmatic, sublime cosmos that celebrates a fantasy that also underlies the stories of the Argentinean-French writer Julio Cortázar, whose »Cuentos« ultimately inspired the name of these works.
Philipp Anders on the works of Mateusz von Motz:
Mateusz von Motz combines a wide variety of techniques and materials in his artistic work. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg as a master student of Juergen Teller, von Motz expanded the field of his artistic training with a master's degree in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. The breadth of his artistic work, which was already apparent here, is still reflected today in his multifaceted artistic work. In a self-description, he himself describes a talent for brutal beauty. Brutal beauty is a central means of expression for the artist, for example when raw concrete and seemingly flawless neon light or spray paint and rough material textures collide. Another means of expression is his expressive and gestural ductus in combination with different materials. The artist's core themes are: space, memory, experience, deconstruction and the question of a personal iconography.
Working with different materials such as industrial materials and oil and spray paint, but also tiles, wallpaper and textile coverings, he creates very personal, direct works whose aesthetics vary between beautifully shaped and graceful and rough and violent. Both poles are combined in the brilliant work FUCK NORMAL I WANT MAGIC, in which the mirror surface is broken with an impulsive script graffito. [ ... ]