‹Absurdities›: Luc Andrié, Urs Zahn

The absurd or named here absurdities have always been an important topic in art. Artists always played an ambiguous game: On one hand the concrete: severe research, exploration, and creation. On the other hand shown is the perspective of irony, wit, and fickleness. Both aspects of artistic work can be found in the oeuvre of Luc Andrié and Urs Zahn. One of them operates with painting based on photography; the other one operates with digitally and manually adapted paper. Wherein pictures might be considered unconventional installations/models of architecture. So both perfectly match the selected exhibition title, even if a formal first impression turns out to be totally different. But the finer points, as Urs Zahns molehill, inflated to a piece of art or a pretty tacky poodle portrait, lead the works of both into a harmonious absurd dialog.

In Luc Andriés painting exist wit and irony; but often also tragedy. An Artist rarely is able to let the spectator experience a whole repertoire of feelings in such a multi-layered expert way. He celebrates his absurd oil paintings with bright colours, blurs masterly the alleged barriers of motif and format and in this manner he adds a new interrogation to the discourse of painting. His self-portraits unmask the artist as being an artificial part of in the art scene and show him as an over dimensional chess figure, as a conservative man, trapped in the self-painted cage. At the beginning are always photographs, which the former photographer and video artist use as basic raw material for the acryl paintings. He is looking for motifs, be it banked up dishes or the reappearing pieces of kitsch that become condensed to surreal compositions in the studio. The delicate, partly varnished, painting contrasts perfectly with the motives. Things that might be considered harmless are lead in disagreeable depths, pledges from the own past mutate to a grimace of history.

Urs Zahn is an ‹amateur craftsman› in the true sense of the word. Room and the atmospheric spaces within are central concerns, but they can express themselves in a variety of forms. On one hand are partly walk able log-built rooms; meticulously hand crafted which suggest a room’s structure in which viewers can linger. The construction also forms an indispensable necessity for pictures and objects that have to be hung in reference to it. Again and again it is the rooms, which he plumbs through strips of wood and assigns accessories and reinterprets. A huge topic in the exhibition are the ‹hedge pictures›, pictures that show two bushes of the evergreen thuya, one was standing on the left, the other one on the right of the gallery’s door. Similar to a music composer he varies the subject in various types and scrutinises this complex, a simple an object like a flowerpot. His special folding technique can be found at all laser prints. Next to the edited photographic prints, digital drawings can as well be seen in the exhibition. The arrangement is completed with a ‹Monstera Deliciosa›, a pot plant as we know them from grandmother apartments, which have also been used numerable times as a requisite for paintings by Matisse.

Bernhard Bischoff, January 2007