Artist Andreas Schulze returns to Sprüth Magers this month for his fourth solo exhibition at the London Gallery. Bringing with him a body of works that present confusing, unexpected forms as a mode of examining visual configuration and possibility, the artist once again returns to explorations of context and form as a site for the negotiation of both sensation and nonsense.
Throughout, Schulze’s work examines space and place in a manner that welcomes both an appreciation of landscape as a site for abstraction, and vice versa. Untitled (Lido) and Untitled (Venice in furs) (both 2023), which depict sausage-like forms leaning on, or placed on, familiar brick architectural elements, recall Schulze’s recent series of glass sculptures, Relax (2022). Created on the island of Murano, famous for its glass production, the works function as bookends and represent the artist’s understanding of form: something surprisingly harmonious emerges from seemingly banal objects. The paintings reveal Schulze’s interest in reflecting everyday life through abstract, illusionistic pictorial scenes that evoke discomfort, but also enticement. The works seem to reach towards reality, but always bend it back into the artist’s own arc of deconstructed understanding.
The charcoal drawings, similarly, depict surrealistic environments that oscillate between the real and the unreal and leave viewers uncertain of what they are seeing: in Untitled (Bumbs) (1985/88), an ominous mass floats in an undefined space, while Untitled (Flying saucer) (1985/88) shows objects that appear familiar yet remain abstract as they hover in a wide, empty space reminiscent of a science fiction scenario.
Both bodies of works highlight Schulze’s playful and experimental way of creating illusionistic, ambiguous pictorial spaces – parables of the supposedly familiar and the uncannily bizarre – and demonstrate the artist’s creative, compositional process, as many of the black-and-white drawings were later realized as paintings.
The show closes May 20th.
– D. Creahan
Andreas Schulze: Land’s End [Exhibition Site]