The Vienna-based artist Klaus Mosettig is presenting a selection of recent drawings in the Secession
s Gallery. Mosettig conceives his works in groups that, while differing in terms of subject matter and appearance, are based upon a consistent basic attitude. The Apollo 11 series goes back to a sequence of slides that Mosettig found at a flea market. The pictures are close-ups of the surface of the moon taken in the course of the first moon landing in 1969. Klaus Mosettig is not interested in the historical dimension but rather in the abstract nature of documentary images that cannot be interpreted unequivocally without context. The motif is not the moon but rather actual slides and their projection, meticulously transferred onto the paper base. Projection as a common device in current image production is as much a topic as the gesture of artistic representation in general in the traditional medium of drawing. In Mosettigs work, the drawing consists throughout of hatchings of constant direction and density. What appears immaterial from a distance turns out on closer inspection to be a field of painstaking manual processing that emancipates itself from the events depicted.
Similarly, Mosettig picks up on paintings by Jackson Pollock. His version of the large-format Number 32 from 1950 (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf) has the same dimensions as the original and was also created on the basis of a slide projection. The media transformations turn Pollocks dynamically cast streaks of paint into a nervous, jittery web. Pollocks pictures rank equal alongside other visual source material, but, being art, provide the additional opportunity of taking an ironical angle on stale, but long-lived categories of viewing art (authenticity of the painterly gesture, authority of the visionary artist subject) by means of grotesque inversion. Another important aspect in this context is the horizontal presentation of Mosettigs work, that upsets the concept of drip paintings that, while produced on the ground, are traditionally hung on the wall. Finally, Mosettigs fifteen-fold graphic repetition of an ink drawing by Pollock puts the idea of the unique original and the practice of art-market reproduction into an inextricable tension by fusing both into a paradoxical whole.
The title of the exhibition Pradolux, finally, derives from a third complex of works. The subtlest marks, that make the sheets look like negative images of a starry sky, are nothing but dirt on the lens of a slide projector, that Mosettig focused on in the truest sense. Once again, we see a consistent aspect of Mosettigs art: The painstaking objectivity of random structures in fact fails to provide any gain in knowledge about the object, but pressurises borderlines and destabilises orientations.
Klaus Mosettig (b. in Graz in 1975) lives and works in Vienna.
Solo shows (selection)
2009 Pradolux, Secession, Wien; 2007 Daily Output, Österreichisches Kulturforum Tokyo; Organisch III, Haaaauch, Klagenfurt, with Tatiana Lecomte; 2006 Niemals Genuss ohne Bitterkeit, Minoritengalerien, Graz; processual minimalism, 4/4 kunst bei wittmann, Wien; Holzplastik, Neue Galerie Studio, Graz; 2003 Die Übergänge sind beim leidenschaftlichen Gleichgewicht, was die Dübel und Verzapfungen bei einem Fachwerk sind Bestandsaufnahme II, Galerie Martin Janda, Wien; Galerie Zell am See, with Tatiana Lecomte.
Group shows (selection)
2008 Flora, Galerie Museum, Bozen; Hommage an die Zeichnung, Parlament, Wien; 2007 Gartenarchivierung, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Atelier Augarten, Wien; 2006 Genuine Happiness, Kunstbüro, Wien; 2005 Wisdom of Nature Eight Visions from Austria, Nagoya City Art Museum; 2004 Artothek eMuseum. Ankäufe 2003/2004, Kunstraum Palais Porcia, Wien; 2003 Why is everything the same?, Galerie Martin Janda, Wien; Auge:Experiment, Kärntner Landesgalerie, Klagenfurt; 1999 come together, Portfolio Kunst AG, Wien; Der ironische Blick, Museum auf Abruf, Wien; Diversities, spices, academists, Semperdepot, Wien; Öffentliche Erscheinungen, Raum für Kunst, Graz; 1994 Kunst auf Zeit, Graz