»The Second Look«

»The Second Look«
June 13 – July 18, 2015 
Opening hours: Wed – Fri 2 pm – 6 pm, Sat 12 pm – 4 pm

Grand Opening of Galerie Scharmann & Laskowski at Schaafenstraße 10:
Birgit Laskowski and Marion Scharmann are new gallery partners.

»The Second Look«
Group Show with works by Anders Dickson, Hervé Garcia und Vladimír Houdek

The title of the exhibition is ambiguous: A second look often reveals what the first had yet to show. In the technological age, where the bombardment of available images has conditioned the viewer to rapidly discern between what is perceived to be of interest from the less interesting, images compete for even the most superficial consideration. 

This may in contrast establish the attraction and quality of images in art: They challenge the viewer to look closer: This allows most often on the second look, a more exact, focused and even analytical observation in which the viewer may grasp insight into the deeper layers leading to a greater understanding, a new logic of attribution and further inspiration for the imagination – ultimately, and in the optimum circumstances, the result is a cessation of the need to search for references, since the work itself can be seen to have defended its autonomous validation.

The participating artists direct their second look not only toward the repertoire of images of the everyday world that surrounds them, as in the case of French artist Hervé Garcia who in the process of creating, questions its assumed interpretation, but they also reflect on art history, as with Czech artist Vladimír Houdek, who feeling especially connected to early modernism from the early part of the twentieth century, seeks relevance in new interpretations. 

Connected associatively with the second look and additionally with the term the ›other face‹, is the belief in clairvoyant perception attributed to certain people who are thought to see things beyond the sensory range of others. This peripheral area of interpretation against a background of mythical and literary sources is of interest to the American artist Anders Dickson. 

Finally and of equal importance, the appearance of a second person in the gallery means that another view of the art scene has been introduced and henceforth exhibitions and other events will be conceptualized through the eyes of two gallerists. 

Anders Dickson (*1988 / Richmond, Wisconsin, USA) creates small drawings on paper, and along with his paintings, assemblages, sculptures, and installation works, they represent self-contained worlds that draw their inspiration from American culture and are pervaded by bizarre and spiritual elements. 

References to literary classics like Moby Dick by Herman Melville or the involvement with figures and motifs from American Indian mythology like the Trickster, who emerges as an ambivalent character in many cultures and which C.G. Jung explored as the ›divine prankster‹, are woven together with found objects and everyday topics from contemporary culture. In Anders Dickson’s painterly and plastic works the representational dissolves into atmospheric color zones, construction and destruction lie close together, physical force and spiritual energy become perceivable in their constructive and destructive possibilities.

In the work of Hervé Garcia (*1971 / Dakar, Sénégal) an image of reality is simultaneously constructed and deconstructed in various media: sculptures, painting, photography, and collages are robbed of their conventional application and are transposed into new syntheses. For example, by piercing through a picture carrier a painting is transformed into a three-dimensional object. Images from magazines, book covers, and other set pieces collected and integrated by the artist, are hidden or destroyed, something new arises yet refers back to that which already existed along with its art historical context. The concealment of pictorial information by overpainting or pasting over, in addition to cutting out, separating, deletion, and erasure, forces and tempts the viewer to penetrate the surface. The artist’s gesture is virtually characterized by a ›sensitive aggression‹ and is in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg’s radical act, when he erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning.

Vladimír Houdek (*1984 / Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic) applies a form of artistic language that lies between abstraction and representation, and which points to his discourse with the Czech, Russian and western European avant-garde of the twentieth century. The background of his serial paintings in oil and acrylic on canvas is confined to a reduced, somber range of colors. The paint is applied impasto over the edges of the canvas like an uncertain original ground yet from which, clear geometric forms of great precision distinctly stand out. Chaos and order form a dialectical unit in Houdek’s paintings: Most of the paintings presented in the exhibition belong to the series 
Grid, which is based on a grid pattern, a kind of referential system. Like Descartes he seems on one hand to measure the world, only to allow on the other hand, disorder to hold sway. In the process, the circle as a complex symbolically charged geometric basic form surfaces often, as do other representational forms like bows, cords, or fanned out elements – all suitable to be grasped as symbols and links and interpretive points of departure – or not, as the case may be. 
In an additive process paper cut-outs are integrated into the pictorial like collages. The artist does not work with preliminary sketches, but rather proceeds in an alternating process of application and ablation through the layers of the painting, a movement in itself, comparable to the movement of memory through both individual and collective cultural consciousness – a motif uniting the work of all three artists. 

Galerie Scharmann & Laskowski presents international, contemporary art both in its gallery spaces in Cologne and also nationally and internationally in cooperation with its supraregional partners. In addition to traditional gallery activities, we strive to direct our energy in exhibitions more towards the establishment of a sustainable ›echo space‹: exhibitions will be accompanied by lectures, artist talks, and multidisciplinary events. In particular it is intended that light be shed on the spiritual cosmos in which the work of the presented artists is rooted. 

In reflecting on the programmatic definition in the 1960s of the gallery as a place in which art is not only sold but where the content and background of art production is discussed, we will, while avoiding any misplaced nostalgia for that era, aim with the greatest possible vigor and pleasure to arrange both discourse and sales in the most productive way for all participants—artists, collectors curators, clientele, and gallerists.

The second Look 
June 13 – July 18, 2015 
Opening hours: Wed – Fri 2 pm – 6 pm, Sat 12 pm – 4 pm

Galerie Scharmann & Laskowski, Schaafenstrasse 10, D-50676 Köln 
Marion Scharmann, Mobil +49 173 344 28 44, ms@scharmann-laskowski.com
Birgit Laskowski, Mobil +49 178 847 47 86, bl@scharmann-laskowski.com