PARIS.- Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
is presenting Austrian artist Markus Schinwalds first solo exhibition at its Paris Marais gallery.
Through his protean work, Schinwald explores a range of media such as video, drawing, sculpture and installations to shape a world that enables a dialogue between theatre, sociology, philosophy, psychology and even fetishism. As part of his pictorial creation process, Markus Schinwald uses old paintings, most of which date back to the Biedermeier period, which he alters by adding incongruous elements such as prostheses. With this iconoclastic gesture, the artist creates a timeless piece that does not, or no longer, correspond to a particular aesthetic style, whether in terms of time period or genre. Contrary to such a restrictive artistic practice, with each exhibition Schinwald takes the viewer through an initiation journey as the experience is not only visual but also charged with physical empathy.
For this new exhibition, Schinwald has chosen to display a new series of large-scale paintings as well as several installations mimicking machines in motion.
In his recent paintings Markus Schinwald proceeds differently. While he kept the entire canvas in his early works, he now assembles two paintings: a historical painting, including one or more figures, and a new canvas that redefines the context. Schinwalds new pictures break away from his older works, where the focus of the painting was mostly on painted faces and prosthetic devices. Here the characters have freed themselves from their restricting implements and apparently relieved themselves from a psychological burden. They enter an all new composition as the very scale of the canvas gives each figure the size of an almost anecdotal statuette. The background removes any narrative, iconographic or temporal anchor, revealing a mysterious setting out of which only hints of geometric shapes, materials, reflections or nuances emerge. Here is a shift in Markus Schinwalds usual repertoire: the prosthesis is no longer representational; it becomes contextual and conceptual. The psychological shackles are no longer embodied in the identifiable physical object as they take a more abstract form through a composition that recreates the conditions of mental confinement.
This phenomenon occurs simultaneously with the artists installations. His machines incorporate a repetitive movement, borrowed from 19th century clockwork, contained within a white frame. The sculptures continuous motion evokes a repetitive choreography. The cogwheels, the cylindrical coulmns mechanical organ and the wooden furniture are substitutes for the legs and joints of the puppets that we see in Markus Schinwalds previous creations. Beyond these mechanisms, the artist limits his latest sculptures to the basic geometric shape of the rectangle. This rectangle becomes an outline and as such they evoke the theme of the window introducing an interplay between solid and void, creating a symbolic dialogue between inside and outside, introspection and extroversion. These sculptures allow for another view on Schinwalds paintings thus enabling us to interpret them anew.
In 2007, Markus Schinwald exhibited at the Tate Modern London as part of the exhibition The World as a Stage. In 2008, he had a solo exhibition at the Migros Museum in Zurich. Three years later, he represented Austria at the 54th Venice Biennale, a turning point in his career. In 2013, he had interconnected solo exhibitions at the CAPC in Bordeaux and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Last year, he had a solo exhibition at the M - Museum Leuven as well as the Magasin III in Stockholm.