Ronald Kodritsch & Jock Sturges
At the Galleries: Mar. 2010
Artistry is in a fidgety mood this month with lots of clowning around and running amuck. Somber colors and reserved attitudes are dusking as frolic and teasing finally rejoice.
Monkeybusiness in der Vogelwelt
(March 2-April 2)
Ronald Kodritsch’s works of art are exaggerated, but in spite of this, they are more than just a matter of size. His creations don’t necessarily spell out artistry…he tends to keep his craftiness in check as his artifacts focus on pictorial themes and the vocabulary of expression. Examining Kodritsch’s elaborate illustrations brings out the dominance of color staged in an odd environment. The byproducts of his creations are humor and lament. He works with themes that may be passé, but still manages to instill some novelty into them. His “Dead Man Hanging from a Tree” is a correct depiction of the artist’s twisted, yet discarnate take on life. Naiveté meets sophistication in his image of Batman, who is standing on an oversized plinth in order to gain stature. His hands are attempting to grab onto larger-than-life breasts, which by all means satirizes and critiques masculinity.
A broad spectrum of genres and stylistic versatility mark his work. Another source of his inspiration is the comic strip, which allows Kodritsch to simplify, inflate, and reduce. His abstraction of Batman, for example, concentrates solely on essence, defying conventions and taboos. Nothing is what it seems, meanings shift, and everything is a guise. Freedom becomes transformed into a fear of hazards and risk. A penis turns into a hand, a plait of hair into a shackle, and a portrait becomes a comic. By presenting banal things in a vast setting, Kodritsch satirizes everyday preconceptions, and purposely confuses size with significance. Banalities are placed in front of a huge backdrop, while meaningful things are set in a small setting, thereby revealing the painter’s sensitivity to artistic craft.
Overall, Kodritsch is a minimalist, but at the same time he is open and generous with readily available tools. Perhaps this is the reason why his paintings seem to be in motion. “His visual transpositions go beyond the mere process of depiction. Quintessentially, his work is all about coming up with ideas that have always been in short supply. He appears to have a wealth of creative capital which enables him to create amazing new artistic constructions, the product of a rare talent,” says Hannah Stegmayer, collector.
2., Praterstrasse 13
(0) 1 212 693 0
(March 5-April 30)
Jock Sturges is an American photographer best known for his images of adolescents.
Much of his work revolves around Misty Dawn, a young woman he shot from childhood to her mid-twenties. His work, often taken on the nude beaches of California and France, is viewed as controversial. Sturges’ photographs of nude girls, all taken in black and white, are overwhelming. They have freed reservations regarding the exploitation of the youth. The young girls in his images are morose; life’s hardships are projected onto their childish faces. The subjects look straight into the camera, yet they remain distant and untrusting. They seem to be turned off and repelled by the viewer’s infatuated voyeurism.
Sturges’ images touch upon sexuality in an innocent way. His camera captures the purity and beauty of the infantile girls, who are on the cusp womanhood. The photographs do not stimulate any discomfort…they do not deconstruct sex as pornographic images do. Sturges’ photos visually stimulate as they truly focus on fragile beauty and nature. Really, Sturges wants the viewer to see the truth in his photographs. For more than thirty years, he has been analyzing and philosophizing truth and nature, and the ideal of art. His images demand the recognition of aestheticism, grace, and poise.
Johannes Faber Gallery
1., Dorotheergasse 12
(01) 512 84 32