Novum Spatium: Dieter Balzer and Dirk Salz

JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present Novum Spatium, a two-person show featuring German based artists Dirk Salz and Dieter Balzer, on view from March 16th to May 6th, 2017.

Novum Spatium, meaning New Space, explores the concept of perception in relation to our environment, physical space and one’s interaction within it.

Dieter Balzer, translates these ideas through pristine geometric abstraction, creating sculptural, minimalist form that deal with depth and negative space. Bright, intricate and overlapping; the complex elements built upon each other, carry the viewer’s eyes over and through an endless, looping playground of planes.

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Elements of Balzer’s work run parallel to contemporary influences on graphic, industrial, and architectural design. The flatness of the vibrantly colored foils create a contemporary twist on the theories of non-representational neoplasticism, cubist sculpture and the Japanese Superflat movement.

Where Balzer uses 3-dimensional elements, the work of Dirk Salz approaches these concepts from another perspective. Instead of creating physical depth with his work, Salz toys with the impression of it. Salz’s uses simple, Supremacist compositions that seem to echo with their color transparency and smooth surfaces.

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These highly reflective pieces confront the viewer with their own image, and present an experience of shifting planes, and varying depths. Surrounding elements found within the work’s environment emerge and are mirrored as one moves back and forth between the self and the work.

Like John McLaughlin’s Light and Space movement, the works invoke a sense of temporality within one’s perception like a Robert Irwin or James Turrel installation; reinventing the world around us.

Together, the two artists create a visual dialogue that is crisp, energetic and articulate. Moving between the two bodies of work invokes a sense of moving between worlds, one that brightly invokes the geometric quality of architecture and the digital world that is so familiar to us, while the other allows us to reflect on the quality of space and our place within it.

Dieter Balzer studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Chesterfield College of Art. His work can be viewed across Germany at the Stern-Wywiol Galerie in Hamburg and the Galerie Corona Unger in Bremen, Germany; and has previously shown across the United States and Canada. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Dirk Salz studied at RWTH in Aachen, Germany and lives and works in Mulheim an der Ruhr. Exhibitions include public institutions such as the Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg, Kunstmuseum Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany and has shown with various international galleries and art fairs.

Building Mountains: First Solo Show of Minjung Kim

JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present Building Mountains, Minjung Kim’s first Solo Show in New York, opening on 2 February, 2017 and on view through 11 March, 2017.

The work of Kim demonstrates her foundation in the traditional Korean calligraphic arts as well as the influence of mid-20th Century abstract expressionism, both of which celebrate the ability to convey energy and spirit through the manipulation of line and practiced spontaneity. Her artworks make use of small torn pieces of HaKimMinjung-Building Forest15_19, 165x130cm,2015.JPGnji, a traditional handmade paper from Korea, as well as ink and paint in a sculptural capacity creating the illusion of dimensionality, geometric form, and architectural minimalism.

Her work explores the expressive potential of pure material. The tone of her work is often at once contemplative and whimsical, ethereal and scientific. It moves onlookers to consider man’s place in nature and our relationships to each other.

She is hesitant to label her work as art — rather she describes her practice as a “discipline of life,” a meditative process which simultaneously requires her to focus her energy and to clear her mind.

Kim obtained her MFA and PhD at Seoul National University. She has been widely exhibited with exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as Danwon Museum of Art, Shangshang Museum of Art, Seoul Art Center, Bunan Museum of Art, Namsong Museum of Art, and Hanwan Museum of Art. She has won countless awards and honors including the 2004 Dong-A Art Prize, 20th Kyungin Great Art Prize, and the 7th Nahyseuk Women Art Prize. She currently lives and works in Korea.

Behind The Glass First Solo Show of Michael Burges

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JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present Behind The Glass, Michael Burges’ premier Solo Show in New York, opening on 20 October, 2016 and on view through 28 January, 2017. This exhibit showcases Burges’ most recent works from his Reverse Glass Paintings series, which he has been working on since 2009. Employing a unique technique of reverse glass painting with gold and platinum leaf, Burges creates large works with an extraordinary color presence, aesthetic precision and visual impact.

In his most recent series Reverse Glass Paintings, Burges uses plexiglass instead of canvas to create a “window” to an alternative reality, and bends the rules of traditional painting techniques. Using a multi-layering process, Burges freely plays with combinations of colors, experimenting with various methods of applying paint with rags and sponges; for his backgrounds the artists uses precious metals including platinum, copper and gold leaf.

What the viewer sees is an abstract painting, free of pre-conceptions – the viewer is invited to freely interpret the art – Burges hence invites us to an open, non-verbal dialogue.

Burges has been exploring the possibilities of color, space, their relationship as well as the effect it produces on the viewer and vice versa since 1983. His approach to painting is often described as a ‘science of art’, comparable to the visual expression of scientific laws and hypothesis. There is however a spiritual quality to his work, embodying elements of Buddhism principles, suggesting the influence of the artist’s background in Comparative Religions, Ethnology and Indiology.

Michael Burges was born in Duesseldorf, Germany in 1954. He currently lives and works in Dusseldorf and Italy. He attended Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, where he studies social sciences. Shortly thereafter he studied Comparative Religions, Ethnology and Indology at Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Germany. Burges began painting in 1981 and is influenced by American Painter Douglas Swan. In 1983 he became engrossed in the style of abstract painting that has persisted as his method of expression through to the present. JanKossen Contemporary has chosen to showcase his work as it reflects strongly upon the aesthetic and conceptual intentions of the gallery.

He has had installations spanning internationally, including exhibitions in Paris, Belgium, Munich, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Suh Jeong Min: Solo show

JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present The Word of Prayer, the gallery’s third solo exhibition featuring works by Korean artist Suh Jeong Min.

Suh’s work presents a rich and traditional subject matter with sleek geometric designs and flowing rhythmic patterns. His process begins by collecting handmade Hanji paper from Buddhist temples and traditional calligraphists’ studios; the latter a source of discarded works and sketches, and the former a home of prayers that were written and deposited. After collecting the paper, Suh glues and rolls the Hanji and carefully mounts hundreds of rolls on a handmade wooden board and frame.

By bearing evidence to the ink applied by past owners, the paper exists in two worlds; they pay homage to their previous life as prayers and calligraphy–orienting viewers to Suh’s cultural background, while simultaneously telling the stories that Suh positions them to tell.

Suh Jeong Min’s subject matter ranges from spirituality to depictions of Korean architecture and ephemeral sensations. In all that they depict, the content of the work is rooted in a cultural and religious framework which reflects the contemporary thinker’s reverence for the past.

This will be Suh’s first solo show in the USA. The artist lives and works in Seoul, Korea.

Psychedelic

Experimenting with intensified and distorted sensory perception, BynumSimmons, and Laube transform traditional art forms into psychedelic encounters.

Peter Bynum invites viewers to experience a higher form of consciousness, to engage in meditation on the oneness of all living things, and abandon artistic ego to the innate intelligence of paint. Exploiting the inherent branching composition and dendritic forms of pressurized paint, the artist reveals the medium’s affinity to infrastructures present in nature. Corporeal capillaries and floral root systems are recalled with kaleidoscopic intensity in Bynum’s illuminated paintings. Abandoning the restriction of direct light, the artist utilizes the pure white light of flat-panel LEDs to illuminate acrylic through panes of tempered glass. Darkroom exhibition enhances the psychotropic experience of Bynum’s light-infused works.

Opposition dominates the work of Troy Simmons. Inspired by the dissonant relationship between man and nature, the artist explores possibilities for a stable coexistence of opposites. Recalling the emergence of vegetal growth from sidewalk crevices, Simmons’ sculptures juxtapose somber concrete and aluminum against vibrant splashes of acrylic paint. Echoing the artist’s fascination with nature and modern Brutalist Architecture, medium identifies Simmons’ works as contemporary manifestations of the 1960s Arte Povera movement, transforming foundational building materials into vessels of aesthetic creation. Dichotomous concept and medium serve as a physical investigation of what Simmons refers to as ‘incompatible binary relationships’. Deliberate and overt, such opposition knocks viewers off balance, resulting in a psychedelic experience of Simmons’ work.

Transgressing boundaries of traditional painting, Michael Laube unshackles the medium from the confines of space and time. Suspension of acrylic paint within sheets of plexiglass produce fluctuating highlights, reflections, and refractions incapable of absolute localization. The result: disembodied, dematerialized surfaces transformed by light. Inextricably woven into the surrounding space, Laube’s sculptural paintings exist beyond conformity to the definition of pure objectivity, capturing a spatial color effect reminiscent of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. Appearing to mutate and diversify, the hallucinogenic quality of Laube’s work encourages viewers to change perspective and experience the work from varying angles.

The Ethereal Stone

Presenting a dichotomy of weight and ethereality, the work of Schmitz-Schmelzer and Kränzlein transforms foundational building materials into delicate defiances of gravity. Employing wood and stone, the artists offer an extraordinary translation of cumbersome mass into ethereal buoyancy.

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Drawing inspiration from nature and ancient culture’s most elemental forms, Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer’s creations function as a contemporary manifestation of commonalities echoed universally throughout the ages. Through a technique evolved over years of experimentation, pigmented resin is poured in parallel or vertical layers onto a plywood-capped base of raw tropical wood. Marriage of the foundation’s natural variegations to the set resin’s now crystalline surface produces a Minimalist amalgamation of lacquered and matte, transparent and opaque, levity and weight.

Rejecting the common comparison to “3-D color stripes”, the artist cites diversity of chromaticity and translucency in his assertion of each layer’s existence as a sovereign entity. Undulating widths and hues lend a singular vitality to each layer, infinitely distancing Schmitz-Schmelzer’s creations from the monotony of homogenous stripes. In light of such variations, a likening to the sedimentation of geological formations serves as a more appropriate comparison.

The labor intensive process of Dieter Kränzlein belies the clarity and simplicity of his finished work. Carved from metamorphic and sedimentary rock, such as marble and limestone, Kränzlein’s sculptures are characterized by a remarkable lightness, a testament to the artist’s valorous conquest over the medium’s severity. Sourcing stone from steinbruchen (quarries) in the German town of Moos, Kränzlein exploits the material’s natural features by responding to its myriad of inherent imperfections. The result is a dynamic synthesis of organic and geometric forms, some possessing the crystalline delicacy of a snowflake, others the horizontal and vertical geometry of a grid.

Through repetition and variation of carving method, imperfections are transformed into compelling patterns and structures, responsible for granting each work its own unique rhythm. Multifaceted surfaces encourage the viewer to interact with the sculpture from different angles, to perceive new dimensions contingent on one’s position in relation to the work.

Asian Reflections

Stemming from Asian origins and residing in Europe, Korean artists Park Byung-Hoon and Keun Woo Lee allow their Western environment to influence their techniques and interpretations of the traditional landscape.

Employing paint and acrylic plexiglass, Park Byung-Hoon creates a unique synthesis of geometric and ethereal forms. Stylistically comparable to the Minimalist movement and approach of the 1960s, Byung-Hoon’s work engages the audience in an exclusive dialogue, affording viewers a singular opportunity to interpret independent from suggestion. As with the Minimalist precedent, the ever-present prospect of impossibility of interpretation exists as well, intensifying personal experience of Byung-Hoon’s work.

Capitalizing on the transparent nature of glass, Byung-Hoon is able to create elegant, dream-like abstractions. Rather than attempting to control the paint, he allows the medium to flow freely within the acrylic before capturing its progress mid-motion. Such a reductive method of creation calls attention to the materiality of the work, while simultaneously allowing the artist to focus exclusively on the hues and patterns created as a result of the process. The pronounced three-dimensionality of the acrylic glass enables Byung-Hoon to take a deliberate step away from the traditional distinction between painting and sculpture, and toward a more personal exploration of the physical nature of art as an object.

Park Byung-Hoon was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Paris, France.

Abstraction is courted, yet ultimately tempered in the work of Keun Woo Lee. Traces of figuration persist; plants, flowers, and other elemental features of landscape remain visible in Lee’s creations. These forms, however, serve as a mere framework for the “nothingness” that holds the artist’s true interest. Lee has developed a keen sensitivity for the exploration of absence’s impact on depth, successfully immersing the viewer’s attention in the concave reductions of the final image.

A classically trained landscape painter, Lee has worked with a variety of media. Her latest body of work is characterized by painted porcelain from Jingdezhen, China, known for nearly two millennia as the “porcelain capital”. The artist’s creative process is an arduous one— Lee paints, then fires, large porcelain sheets within a single kiln in order to achieve the desired aesthetic. Working quickly and intuitively, and believing corrections to be taboo, the artist’s process ensures that each brushstroke and implementation of color acts as a gestural invocation of emotion.

Keun Woo Lee was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Kiel, Germany.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

Jürgen Jansen‘s materials and techniques are anything but traditional. While listening to music – often inspiration for artwork titles- Jansen uses cloths, sponges, and even his hands to create these colorful abstractions. A finished work contains up to thirty layers of oil paint and mineral spirits, over which a high-shine resin coating is applied.

Jürgen Jansen lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is Jansen’s first solo show in the United States.

Tantra

While Dieter Balzer‘s works initially appear colorful and playful, the sculptures possess a geometric precision mirroring that of calculated engineering. Exploring the boundaries between two-  and three-dimensionality and positive and negative space, Balzer’s wood and foil creations engage viewers in a dialogue on space and form. Although inspired by a number of various art historical movements, the artist’s primary influence lay in Constructivism and Minimalism.

Dieter Balzer currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

In depth…Dieter Balzer

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Balzers work are both colourful and playful, but have a geometric precion mirroring that of calculated engineering. Playing within the confines of two – and three-dimensionality and positive and negative space using materials such as wood and foil, his works presents the viewer a sculptural dialogue on space and form.

Balzer is inspired by various art historical movements, especially credited Constructivism and Minimalism, which is apparent in the forms of his works.

Dieter Balzer was born in Neuhofen/Pfalz, Germany in 1958 and attended the University of Heidelberg, College of Art in Chesterfield, England, and Statens Hogskole, in Bergen Norway. His work has been included in exhibitions throughout Germany and abroad, including at the Museum der Wahrnehmung in Graz, Austria, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, in Ludwigshafen, Germany and the Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch, Germany.

Dieter Balzer currently lives and works in Berlin.

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Las obras de Balzer son coloridas y juguetonas, pero tienen una presión geométrica que se basa en la ingeniería calculada. Jugar en los confines de dos – tridimensionalidad y el espacio positivo y negativo utilizando materiales como la madera y el papel, sus obras presentan al espectador un diálogo escultórico sobre el espacio y la forma.

Sus obras están inspiradas en los movimientos históricos diferentes de arte, especialmente acreditado el constructivismo y el minimalismo, lo cual es evidente en las formas de sus obras.

Dieter Balzer nació en Neuhofen / Pfalz, Alemania en 1958 y estudió en la Universidad de Heidelberg, College of Art de Chesterfield, Inglaterra y Statens høgskole, en Bergen Noruega. Su obra ha sido incluida en exposiciones en toda Alemania y en el extranjero, incluso en el Museum der Wahrnehmung en Graz, Austria, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, en Ludwigshafen, Alemania y el Museo Ritter en Waldenbuch, Alemania.

Dieter Balzer Actualmente vive y trabaja en Berlín y sus obras puedes entrarlas en nuestra galeria, JanKossen.