18 MARCH – 2 JULY 2023

Robert Janitz has created five new paintings that together form a kind of contemporary frieze that hangs opposite the entrance door leading into the Neues Haus of the Berliner Ensemble. WHITE LIES is the title of the five-part work, which features Janitz’s trademark abstract forms minus any additional color. The black-and-white paintings together read like a series of figures in motion, drawing on the theatre as a site of kinetic, bodily activity. Within the expanse of these works there are subtle shifts in gradients – from light to dark – that reinforce the angularity of Janitz’s brushwork, falling into one another, yet frozen in their state as paintings.The title of this work takes its name for the English expression, which refers to a falsehood that is uttered or claimed without significant deleterious effect. As innocent as a lie can be, the term builds a certain contradiction within itself, which helps to animate the contrasting nature of Janitz’s reduced palette and the divergent nature of his forms. To be at variance with one another is, in essence, what the white lie designates – an untruth that portends no outcome of any real consequence. It is more the conflicting nature of the white lie than its claims to truth that are at stake for Janitz, which provides a fitting narration for the paintings that hang in the Berliner Ensemble. What is the theater if not a place where fabrication, or fiction, can lay claim to the status of truth?
Painting is uniquely suited to giving form to such complexities of truth and fiction and Janitz’s work exemplifies the medium’s status as that which can hold contradictions together without resolution, a quality that was praised by Hegel in his Lectures on Aesthetics. Among the several sites were said lectures were delivered was Berlin, just blocks from the theatre where WHITE LIES now hangs, over two centuries ago. Far from merely adorning the interior space of the Berliner Ensemble, Janitz has created a work that takes the very structure of the theater and translates it to the painted support, not as a mimetic representation of theatrical fiction, but as a pictorial performance of its foundational essence – the white lie.Kunst im Foyer is initiated by Corina and Max Krawinkel. Its first edition is co-organized by KÖNIG GALERIE.

© Images Roman März



Robert Janitz (b. 1962 in Alsfeld, Germany) lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied Ethnology, Comparative Religion, Indology, and Art History at the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany.

Robert Janitz is known for his large abstract paintings for which he uses oil in combination with wax and flour on a monochrome background.

His works have been shown in many international solo and group exhibitions, amongst others in San Carlo, Cremona, Italy; Diego Rivera Museum Anahuacalli, Mexico City, Mexico; the Sevil Dolmaci Gallery in Istanbul, Turkey; the Canada Gallery, New York City, USA; KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Germany; ...
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