15 July – 13 August 2021
Josh Lilley is pleased to present Split Level, German painter Christof Mascher’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first since 2015. The exhibition opens on Thursday July 15th from 6 to 8 pm.
Mascher studied with Walter Dahn at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig, as the dust settled on two decades of surging progress wrought by his professor among the Neue Wilde of the 1970s and 1980s. Mascher learned the foundational lessons of postmodernism that had rippled through Saxony and the Rhineland after Beuys: personal expression at a primal level; new collective and personal mythologies; freedom above all. Mascher belongs in this proud tradition, but he is also part of the first generation of German painters working after Kippenberger, and his practice represents a need — and a reason — to reset and restaff an iconic school for the 21st century.
Illustrative fluency, an ability to instinctively resolve compositions with the right weighting of gesture, is Mascher’s signature. Graffiti artists, a subculture to which the artist belonged as a well-known teenage train writer in Hannover, call this handstyle, and it is prized. Mascher navigates imagined landscapes and gives them flow and purpose. He carries some of the badness of his German ancestors, a desire to problematize and not be shy of making paintings that are fucked up, but he creates with an overall benevolence and a desire to find beauty in the comity of the natural and the built environment. The places he depicts belong to no space or time. Post-history, says Mascher, casually, without any desire for that to be a grand thing.
Christof Mascher (b. 1979, Hannover) has been the subject of institutional solo exhibitions at venues including the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2018); Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, (2017); Kunsthalle Emden (2011); and the Mönchehaus Museum für Moderne Kunst, Goslar (2008). He has participated in institutional group exhibitions at the Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Bonner Kunstverein, Kunstverein Hannover and Kunstverein Braunschweig. Mascher lives and works in Braunschweig.