Matthew Bown Gallery
Keithstrasse 10
10787 Berlin

+49 30 2145 8294/5


U-Bahn: Wittenbergplatz

Open 12-6, Tuesday-Saturday, during exhibitions

Thomas Fischer, Marcus Weber, Thomas Ravens, Joachim Grommek, Ab van Hanegem, Wolfgang Flad, Frank Maier, Anja Schwörer


15.07.10 - 11.08.10
Tuesday to Saturday, 12.00-18.00

Private view: Wednesday 14 July, 18.00-20.30

Press: taz.de

The summer show at the gallery is an experiment which replaces idea-based curating with a strategy derived from social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn and recommendation services such as that of Amazon.com. These provide an open-ended chain of human association and intellectual reference. The gallery selected a work by the artist Thomas Fischer, who has shown at the gallery before, and asked him in his turn to select a work by a second artist. The second artist then selected a work by the third artist, and so on. The result is a show that was not under the control of any individual curator or participant. It extends beyond the art that would usually be shown in the gallery and makes random or serendipitous juxtapositions. In essence, Telephone is an experiment which emphasises human rather than aesthetic relations and makes one wonder about the relationship between the two. The inspiration for the title of the exhibition is the old parlour-game of the same name, also known as Chinese Whispers and in German as Stille Post; the telephone was also the initial mode of contact between the artists.

Each artist has written a brief appreciation of his choice.

Thomas Fischer's work starts with the discovery and collection of images. Information extracted or "quoted" by the artist from media streams and pictures taken with a mobile phone serve as a research tool and inspiration for his delicious glossy paintings on wood or aluminum, in which reality is transformed into symbolic elements. (Anastasia Stein/Matthew Bown Galerie)

Modern life is reflected in biting, humorous fashion in the work of Marcus Weber. His highly pictorial transformations of everyday scenes elate the viewer immediately: they are ironic reminiscences of an age in decline, successfully treading the narrow line between common sense and absurdity. (Thomas Fischer)

Thomas Ravens quotes the architecture of different periods and places; he combines them with real and extraordinary invented designs in a single work. He shows great sensitivity to transitions, proportions and structures. In his water colours, modernist utopian architectonics mutate into dystopian scenes. (Marcus Weber)

Joachim Grommek uses a baffling trompe l'oeil repertoire in order to elevate the concept and sphere of the "non-objective" in a new spin up to a higher orbit. He proceeds to explore these new found scope with much intelligence, imagination, persistence and humour. (Thomas Ravens)

Just as Thomas Ravens called me I got an email from Ab van Haneghem telling me he would be arriving from Amsterdam the next day, since he has a second studio here in Berlin. So I thought that this exhibition would be a nice welcome for him. (Joachim Grommek)

In Wolfgang Flad's work I sense a kinship with my own work. I call this quality the Relative, or the Illusory. His witty sculptures refer to Classic Modernism, on closer inspection however it becomes clear that they are put together – cobbled together, one might say – quite differently. And then there's the contrast between sculpture and plinth: rigorous, perfectly-executed geometric forms set against organic forms with an entirely different patina. (Ab van Hanegem)

Frank Maier integrates a referential playfulness into rigorous abstraction. His work is composed of subtleties. Of the essence is the interaction between material substance and the filigree lines which partition the picture surface and produce layers of depth. The paintings' coolness and rigour is fractured, which creates a parallel to my own work. (Wolfgang Flad)

Anja Schwörer's works seem like paintingsin that they pretend to cleave closely to painterly discourse. But strictly speaking, Schwörer's works are not paintings. They are coloured fabrics, sometimes with paint applied, which only create the impression that they are paintings. This sense of disruption is not just a matter of technique, it really constitutes the content of Schwörer's work that is so appealing to me. (Frank Maier)