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SVEN DRÜHL: MOUNTAIN HIGH! 2018-06-22T10:44:31+02:00


April 28 to June 23, 2018

Media historian and author Norman Klein writes in the beautifully made, newly published JAHRES MAGAZINE of the Berliner Festspiele: The future ages faster than the present. The  Berlin-based artist, doctor in Art History and enthusiastic swing dancer Sven Drühl says in the 119th edition of the KUENSTLER-KRITISCHES MAGAZIN DER GEGENWART: “Art is not created in a vacuum, but always in relation to earlier works and their constituent works codes. In my opinion, every piece of art is a conglomeration of the historical resource – it is created through the absorption and transformation of other works of art.”

In 2006 Drühl created for the first time a landscape picture completely in black, which he gave the title Undead. In this and other works he quoted important artists of the 19th century, to him “undead”, such as the French Realist Gustave Courbet, the proponent of “heroic” landscape paintings Joseph Anton Koch or Weimar artist Edmund Kanoldt.

This work was followed in 2008 by T.R.C.D.F. (Undead): the artist used a watercolor by his contemporary Tobias Rehberger for the mountains panorama. The flowers and plants depicted in the foreground came from a botanical study by Caspar David Friedrich from 1799. Both image sources were so intertwined that they completely merged. In the creation of this work, the approach of Drühl is almost described. Here the idea for a painting is described by the artist as follows: “‘My paintings are like remixes of existing works, just as a house or techno DJ is re-composing individual pieces of music, in rows or layered one on top of the other to come up with new solutions. One style of music that influenced me a lot in the beginning is the so-called bastard pop (…) in which pieces of music from very different fields were mixed together, such as Whitney Houston I wanna dance with somebody with a piece Numbers of Kraftwerk’”.

Having this form of sampling determined the artist’s approach to the image for a long time, more recently he often foregoes with the use of patterns from an art-historical context. Rather, Drühl falls back upon virtual images, non-images, which he partly finds on the internet. In this instance, these are subjects that Drühl receives from companies that program computer games. Drühl brings these fictional patterns back from their artificiality to the reality of painting. He describes a way out of the supposed future of image creation into the reality of a present, which allows the question of whether the future actually ages faster than the present. In times of virtual reality that can not be controlled, in times of scandals caused by millions of robbed data, Drühl captures the virtual image for a moment and from that moment realizes both history and future.

The exhibition MOUNTAIN HIGH! gathered eleven, mostly new paintings, fresh from the studio, including eight after virtual patterns.