Screaming Swifts: Paintings and a construction
September 7 through October 23, 2016
Materialize at the tip of a long scream
Of needle. ‘Look! They’re back! Look!’ And they’re gone…
Swifts –Ted Hughes
The Mitchell Algus Gallery presents Screaming Swifts, an exhibition of paintings and a wall construction by the Austrian artist Tillman Kaiser opening on Wednesday September 7 and continuing through Sunday October 23. Tillman Kaiser’s work was included in this gallery’s group exhibition The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing-World last fall. The current exhibition is the artist’s first one-person show in New York. A reception for the artist will be held on the day of the opening from 6 to 8 pm.
Tillman Kaiser’s paintings, like Ted Hughes’ swifts, appear suddenly, discordantly. Made manifest in both chaos and order, they break the space they inhabit and then leave a void, only to appear again, transformed.
Kaiser’s complex, radiant abstract works are process-intensive meditations on history and style. Using photographic techniques, painting, drawing, collage, and screen-printing, the artist creates manifold compositions that allude to embryonic modernisms (the Orphism of František Kupka, the Metaphysical painting of Giorgio DeChirico, Futurism, Constructivism and Suprematism), science fiction, philosophy and architecture, particularly Viennese Gothic architecture like Stephansdom (St. Stephens Cathedral). Working with studio-made photograms and egg tempera, the artist’s most recent work focuses on a synthetic exploration of the ground between photography and painting.
Tillman Kaiser shares concerns with other contemporary European artists in displaying a fascination with early modernist design, Utopian ideology and Futurism redux. Such interests place Kaiser’s work alongside that of Lucy McKenzie, Julian Goethe, Torsten Slama, and Gerda Scheepers (among others). The adolescence of these artists, most born in the 1970s, was defined by the fall of the Iron Curtain, an event that precipitated an historical reimagining of the arc of European culture. Conflating modernist and historical styles, they convey a regard for making new art that is deep and critical, rather than nostalgic, subtly referential, rater than concrete and abstract.
Tillman Kaiser was born in 1972 in Graz, Austria. Kaiser studied with Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Hubert Schmalix at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Now living in Vienna, Kaiser has shown widely in Europe, especially with Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Wilkinson Gallery, London, and the Polanski Gallery in Prague. The artist has also shown with Honor Fraser in Los Angles. Recent shows at non-commercial venues have included those at the Museum Belvedere, Vienna and the Museo Cannonica, Villa Borghese, Rome.