Meat and bones, the essence of the body, the atom of our being. The bricks which build the house of our existence but lie hidden under our skin, tattoos and tale -telling clothing. Josef Wurm’s latest exhibition, Atom For Kunstler, delves deep into his essential theme of corporeal construction and in doing so reveals much about the artist’s working.
To appreciate the method and techniques we can contrast the large acrylic paintings with the smaller Barcsay Jeno based collages.
The paintings are characterised by layers. What you see is the result of an intellectual process over many months. These pictures have been through many incarnations. We see the skin on the bones, and of course meat, of many other pictures. Wurm enjoys painting over older paintings, creating texture and unexpected interactions.
The collages present another side of the artist. The anatomic details (from the book, Anatomy for Artists, Jeno Barcsay) provide a starting point for a playful game of construction. Barcsay sets the theme, the topic, for Wurm to expand upon. Here we see skilful pen-work and a natural instinctive method. There is little room for correction. This is an inspired use of a medium used by many students as copy book for studying the body.
Wurm has a fascination with maps which provide us with a peek into his psyche. His kitchen wall is covered by them, helping to remind him where he is from, has been and currently resides. Does a map contain the bones of our geography? Does it break us down into our smallest parts? Did Barcsay create a map of our body to guide the curious artists?
To focus on the micro, the smallest, is to miss the macro. Stand back from a picture then come closer. Is it still the same world? Do we travel the cosmos, the world of Wurm?
Congratulations to the artists for presenting a great selection of works spanning 5 creative years and a range of mediums.
May 24 – June 20, 2014. Tuesday to Friday 2pm to 6pm
Staudgasse 72, 1180 Wien