Galerie Jahn und Jahn is especially pleased to expand the discourse of its program within the framework of an international co-production with Max Hetzler and Lateral ArtSpace, above all by focusing on Eastern Europe, which has made exciting contributions to the art world. The works shown by gallery artist Ioan Grosu and guest artists Lucian Indrei, Mirela Moscu, and Navid Nuur revolve around conceptions of the image, the processes of its production and the way it is perceived.
Starting from the question of what exactly characterises a painting, Navid Nuur (*1976 in Tehran, lives and works in The Hague) explores the subject of painting from different perspectives. With his site-specific wall work he raises the question of painting’s materiality and perceptibility, its conventions and limits. Nuur does not rely on the classical tools of the painter, but uses colored smoke cartridges that seemingly create their own image in an anarchic and autonomous way. Artist and work literally dissolve in smoke. The choice of tool, which defines the painterly trace, is also an important starting point in "The Tuners", a series inspired by writing samples. He collected diverse pieces of paper from stationary shops around the world, on which people had tried out pens and pencils. The scribbles recorded on them revealed surprising similarities despite cultural differences, irrespective of whether they were written in The Hague or Tokyo. Unlike individual handwriting styles or signatures, which are important symbols of originality in art, a collective form of expression emerges that Nuur translates into his painting.
Processes of formation and aspects of image generation likewise determine the work of Lucian Indrei (*1983 in Bistrița/Romania, lives and works in Cluj). His site-specific installation "Hole truth (hole in the wall)" proves to be ambiguous. Behind a photograph that shows a cracked wall, a one-to-one version of the photo’s motif is concealed. Different from Joseph Kosuth, who in “One and Three Chairs” (1965) presented a chair, the image of the chair, and a definition of the term alongside one another, in Indrei’s work the object of reference remains hidden. Is the concept, the representation, therefore more meaningful? And can the preference for the reproduction be seen as characteristic of our mediated society? The artist negotiates the relationship between image and facsimile, original and copy, and at the same time plays with the idea of art as a decorative form. In his pieces from his body of work "Semantic exorcism" Indrei abstracts existing imagery that he imbues with new meanings through his interventions.
Technologies of transformation are equally fundamental for the work of Ioan Grosu (*1985 in Mediaș /Romania, lives and works in Munich). The artist not only oscillates between different media, but also draws his inspiration from various sources that include everyday objects, found objects and elements from popular culture, as well as references to art history. Through on-going processes of reworking and layering Grosu, who was a former master’s student of Günther Förg, approaches multi-layered topics, which he explores in paintings and collages. Methods of deconstruction and translation are characteristic of Grosu’s image world, which entangles the viewer in a permanent state of searching and discovering.
A magical, enigmatic effect also emerges in the work of Mirela Moscu (*1986 in Sibiu/Romania, lives and works in Cluj-Napoca). Her gestural paintings, which similarly move between abstraction and figuration, testify to great strength and vitality. Developed in a series, the artist transfers her motifs – related to Romanian folklore and myths – to the painting surface from her memory and imagination. Human figures merge into sensual compositions with flowing, floral-like forms. Whether restless or at peace: the figures are a part of their environment and at the same time set themselves apart through empty spaces. The viewer is sucked into Moscu’s artistic universe, which blends collective memory and personal identity as well as the fantastic and the real.