Lernert & Sander, Trampling, From the Series, Elektrotechnique, 2011
Dutch designers Lernert & Sander create pieces that reflect on the remarkable, often messy endeavor of art-making. In their surreal, Pantone world, the creative process is always beautifully exposed.
Though not yet a household name, the Dutch duo have amassed a considerable body of work – including TV commercials, short films, print pieces, and art installations – that’s darkly humorous and eminently engaging. We first got hooked on their witty films series “How To Explain…” and “The Procrastinators.” In the former, Lernert & Sander film conceptual artists as they (painstakingly) attempt to explain their work to their parents. In the latter, a series of artists confess their struggles with procrastination. Further digging led us to “Chocolate Bunny” and their first “Revenge” film, which elegantly stages and then documents the destruction of a single, innocent egg.
Uebermalte fotografien, 5 october 1998, Uebermalte fotografien, 8 september 2004 and Uebermalte fotografien, 2 march 2005
Gerhard Richter is a German visual artist and one of the pioneers of the New European Painting that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. His art follows the examples of Picasso and Jean Arp in undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.
In the early 1960s Richter was exposed to both American and British Pop art, which was just becoming known in Europe, and to the Fluxus movement. Richter consistently regarded himself simply as a painter. He began to paint enlarged copies of black-and-white photographs using only a range of treys.
The evident reliance on a ready-made source gave Richter’s paintings an apparent objectivity that he felt was lacking in abstract art of the period. The indistinctness of the images that emerged in the course of their transformation into thick layers of oil paint helped free them of traditional associations and meaning. Richter concentrated exclusively on the process of applying paint to the surface.
As early as 1966 he had made paintings based on colour charts. Although these paintings, like those based on photographs, were still dependent on an existing artefact, all that was left in them was the naked physical presence of colour as the essential material of all painting.
All vestiges of subject-matter seem to have been abandoned by Richter in the paintings that he began to produce in 1976. Even these supposedly wholly invented paintings retained a second-hand look, as if the brushstrokes had been copied from photographic enlargements.
The extreme variety of Richter’s work left him open to criticism, but his rejection of an artificially maintained consistency of style was a conscious conceptual act that allowed him to investigate freely the basic principles of painting.
Sarah came from rural massachusetts. She had been accepted to other, fancier schools, but luckily for us, she was broke and the one thing our Philadelphia school had to offer was big scholarships. I don’t remember much about the work she applied with other than it was sculpture and mainly purple or blue and she arrived holding a six-month-old baby in her arms, which was mainly pink.
While everyone was sweating it out trying to be the best artist, Sarah was making work about failure and love and personal offering, which came easily to her. When the faculty threatened to fail her, she protested by making more purple sculpture and having another baby. For the past 10 years she has collaborated in owning and running Canada, a gallery on the lower west side of the Lower East Side.
Partly, perhaps as an act of mourning; more obviously as a reparative act, Lijn conceived of her manipulation of prisms as giving them a kind of restorative posthumous existence to remedy their mutilated identity: “A prism on its own is lost. It has no feet, no legs to stand on”. Her fantasy ran that they had lost their function in a world of technical forms by no longer being “anchored into a machine, which one way or another will be a machine for seeing… I must give it a body”.
Liliane Lijn (born 1939), is an American-born artist who was the first woman artist to work with kinetic text (Poem Machines), exploring both light and text as early as 1962. She has lived in London since 1966.
Utilising highly original combinations of industrial materials and artistic processes, Lijn is recognised for pioneering the interaction of art, science, technology, eastern philosophy and female mythology. Lijn is particularly known for her timeless, cone-shaped Koan series. In conversation with Fluxus artist and writer, Charles Dreyfus, Lijn stated that she primarily chose to ‘see the world in terms of light and energy’. Lijn describes her work as ‘A constant dialogue between opposites, my sculptures use light and motion to transform themselves from solid to void, opaque to transparent, formal to organic.’
Harm van den Dorpel (born 1981 in Zaandam, The Netherlands) is a Berlin-based conceptual artist. With his work he investigates aesthetic hierarchies and cybernetic organisations of art and contemporary visual culture in general. He explores how intuitive associative expression, and algorithmically structured information systems can operate in hybrid. His practice includes sculpture, collage, animation and websites. He is regarded a key figure in Post-Internet art. Harm van den Dorpel is represented by Wilkinson Gallery in London. His work has been shown in the exhibition ‘Free’ at the New Museum in New York, and the survey exhibition ‘Art Post-Internet’ at The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.