Meshes of the Afternoon
19 June – 1 August 2009
Josh Lilley is delighted to announce the first exhibition at the gallery by the German painter Christof Mascher.
Meshes of the Afternoon, Mascher's first show in London, will display a selection of new paintings on canvas, board and wood. Using a mix of oil, acrylic, Indian ink, lacquer and varnishes, Mascher's paintings range from 10cm to 4.5 metres in size; the variety of materials helping to provide an insight into the fantastical workings of one of Germany's most talented young artists.
Mascher's paintings are residues from a subconscious process that guides his work. Heavily influenced by David Lynch's account of steering one's own dreams, I like to plunge into a dream-world which I myself have created or discovered, a world I have sought out for myself. Mascher is motivated by capturing or constructing such fantastical narratives in his paintings. As a self proclaimed child of the '80s, certain iconography and inspiration arises from various characters such as Skeletor, Jabba the Hutt, and the Super Mario Bros. Interested in how fantasy allows the surreal to emerge into life, such creations are integrated into the picture on horizontal layers that sweep through his works. This stage-setting is crucial, forcing the viewer to navigate and weave through the paintings as one would do in vintage video games, platforms that were ultimately built in 2D.
Yet, Mascher's work can also be seen in the tradition of Northern European landscape painting. While one notices an appreciation for naïve art or the Primitive, it is clear that Friedrich's expansive vistas, the composed fantasy of Paul Klee, the hybrids and creations of Bosch, the clash of man and nature seen in Nolde, and the masking and huddling of figures employed by James Ensor are all continuously present. This fusion of contemporary iconography with references to the past, aligned to the variation of materials he uses, allows for an individual kind of research where Mascher can develop what he calls his secret knowledge. It is here where he finds a connection with Maya Deren's 1943 classic Meshes of the Afternoon and the energy it seeks to express — specifically in how it is concerned with the interior experiences of an individual, recording an event which cannot be witnessed by other people.
Christof Mascher (b. 1979 in Hannover) lives and works in Braunschweig, Germany. In the past two years Christof Mascher has had solo museum shows at Galerie der Stadt Remscheid and at the Museum for Modern Art, Goslar. He has exhibited at the 3rd Prague Triennial in 2008, and featured in the exhibition Black Bile, Red Humour at the Art Centre Montabaur alongside Tal R, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Meese. Gallery exhibitions include Fake Empire, The Happy Lion, Los Angeles, 2008, and The Ghost Yard, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, 2007. In October 2009, Mascher will participate in a group show at the Nunnery Gallery, London. He was taught at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (HBK), Braunschweig, under Professor Walter Dahn.