Opening: Thursday, 5.10.23, 6 pm
The German verb “lichten” has an etymological relation to light (Licht). It is used to describe the action of removing or reducing. “Your hair grows thinner and thinner” or “The dense forest thins out in the glade, and sunlight floods in.” In a darkened exhibition space, “Lichten” presents two early paintings by Flora Klein and three projections of the ongoing series “Pattern as a Teacher” (2021–) by Valentina Triet. Each of these works is a dense and dynamic web of either brushstrokes and color fields or of city lights, yellow-blossoming hills, or a constellation of delicate fabric, unbridled yarn, and graphic paper. Layers intensify and abate, patterns form and dissolve, collide and reconcile. Abstraction and the formation of patterns play a central role in both artistic practices. They demonstrate that a multi-layered density can emerge beyond the formulaic through difference and repetition.
Flora Klein‘s abstract paintings seem like magnets. A dynamic energy around them makes them either attract or repel each other. Unruly meandering lines appear in both. They oppose each other regarding color, surface, movement, and light treatment. In one painting, ochre, reddish brown, and steel grey lines move in line with each other across the canvas, flowing into one another to sometimes blend or obscure. They are in flux, forming structures of depth and height in the three-dimensional. In “Untitled” (2013), a pattern forms from the brushstrokes and their interstices; “Braun” (2013) appears more grounded and calmer. It is dominated by a monochrome surface from which the intestinelike forms shine through only faintly. In Klein‘s artistic practice multiple applications of painterly elements and language form a pattern of gestures evolving in phases. These early works were made shortly after her graduation from ECAL in 2013. Today, she teaches at the ZHdK in the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Works from this period to today are currently presented in an institutional solo exhibition at the Kunsthaus Glarus. Flora Klein lives and works in Berlin.
“Pattern as a Teacher” by Valentina Triet is an exploration of patterns. A pattern implies repetition, order, and a spatial or temporal structure. It can dictate a visual or acoustic, personal, or social realm. Here, the patterns have been produced by an action of light. Materially in the photograms of one projection and allegorically in the capture of streetlights in another. In the sequences, the photographs alternate in staccato. The fast pace creates the feeling of a search operation. Valentina Triet‘s examination of patterns is driven by her interest in the relationship between social class and taste. “Taste classifies,” stated Pierre Bourdieu in his investigation of the mechanisms of social distinction (1974). The interpretation of a pattern is socially situated and by no means innocent. Does Valentina Triet‘s search strive for the dominant taste, or does it turn away from it? Reduced formal language and a melancholic atmosphere characterize all three videos. The wasteland overflowing with rambling yellows in “01/02: (Pattern as a Teacher)” (2022) shows how weeds in the mass take on an unexpected dynamic. Questioning taste in the act of searching defies assimilation and is thus an attempt at resistance. Valentina Triet completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the ZHdK in 2016. Today, she lives and works in Vienna.