With the artistic work of Wolfgang Joop, Galerie Michael Schultz
presents an aspect of this creative multi-versatile genius which is still less heard of, as opposed to his world fame as a designer. For more than ten years now, the artist who completed his studies of fine arts at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig has also been involved with sculptures.
His complete body of work stands out due to intuition and the ultimate manual perfection. They achieve this in quite different genres of fine and applied arts, always with the same precision that characterizes his works so distinctly. For Joops thinking in terms of gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) this applies to fashion just as it does for expressing myths, poetry and death.
The sculptural and textile works shown here, within their strong material opposites, forge a unit in themselves, at first glance by their weight. Although, the spiritual subject exceedingly unifies them harmoniously into an entity with regards to content.
The Conceptual has always remained odd to him, he states to love the fairytalesque, even within abstraction. A memory of injury and pain takes on a transformation in his morbid cloths, may they be flags of welcome or farewell banners, fuelled by Joops handling of sensual insight and inviting us to bravely render homage to death as our friend.
Wolfgang Joop does not shy away from pathos. Whoever calls Potsdam his home does know about the power of classicist influences all around Sanssouci palace. But with these elements, Joop initiates a dialogue between tradition and experiment that accomplishes materiali-zation while being born from dreams.
He works with strong pictorial quotes which commemorate of Christian and mythological icons, such as the Veil of Veronika, or the legendary ancient Nike of Samothrace whose giant wings adorn the Louvre today. Angels are consolatory messengers between Man and God, the artist says. His angels occasionally scream out of loneliness and pain though, or they appear like daemons with their Socratic facial features, reminding rather of knowing herms and therefore readable also as sign posts than as grave steles, especially when their sexual affiliation does not make itself accessible immediately to the beholder.
The power of beauty is the vehicle whose force the artist plays on across all disciplines.