9 September – 7 October 2011
Josh Lilley is delighted to announce the opening of Urban Ornamental, the second exhibition at the gallery by German artist Christof Mascher.
This new body of work sees Mascher supplement his fantastical landscape paintings on panel and wood with a variety of other practices; paper porcelain reliefs, ceramic sculptures, and his Mind Storage Rack cabinets, all articulating a development within his pictorial language and storytelling.
Mascher's works can be seen to continue a dialogue with northern European painting through his own individual mythology, set out across his various landscapes and scenarios. Depictions of allegory, the surreal, hybrid creations and characters and the anthropomorphic awakening of the natural world can all be traced to a legacy of artists that began with Bruegel and Bosch. Yet his images reveal a thoroughly unique way of gathering and disseminating visual information, providing an insight into how he controls and compartmentalises ideas, signifiers and motifs in his work.
Interested in how imagination allows the surreal to emerge into life, such creations are integrated into his images on horizontal layers that sweep through his paintings. This stage-setting is crucial, allowing Mascher to easily engage with the objects or characters he is inserting onto the picture plane. From this comes a desire to control and harness such forms, giving him the opportunity to expand his practice across different media. While working with ceramics is in effect a new mode of drawing for Mascher, the freedom gained from reflecting back on his own intuitive processes is best captured in his series of display cabinets.
Mind Storage Rack is Mascher's modern-day version of a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities. Historically such objects were regarded as a memory theatre, conveying the owner or patron's control of the world he inhabited through its indoor, microscopic reproduction. For Mascher, the Mind Storage Rack possesses a similar function, both as an opportunity to confront and oversee his creative decisions and as a moment's pause, a focus that re-circulates and inspires the content and energy of his paintings.
Christof Mascher (b. 1979 Hannover, Germany) lives and works in Braunschweig, Germany. Mascher studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HBK), Braunschweig, under Professor Walter Dahn. Previous solo museum exhibitions include Kunsthalle Emden, Germany, 2011, Galerie der Stadt, Remscheid, Germany, 2008, and Museum of Modern Art, Goslar, Germany, 2008. Previous solo gallery exhibitions include Alley Cat, Michael Janssen, Berlin, 2010, Meshes of the Afternoon, Josh Lilley, London, 2009, and Fake Empire, The Happy Lion, LA, 2008. Selected group shows include All in Together Now, at Mai 36, Zurich, 2011, The Forgotten Bar, Galerie im Regierungsviertel, Berlin, 2010, and Re-Reading of the Future, International Triennale of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague, 2008.