© Images by Roman März
19 JANUARY – 2 MARCH 2024
19 JANUARY 2024 | 6–8 PM
KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to present A PANCAKE SHOW, a new solo exhibition by Johannes Wohnseifer, his 10th with the gallery. The title originates from a mistranslation of the words “Painting Show”, which Wohnseifer embraced as a fitting description for his extended painterly practice. The artist works in a wide range of media– sculpture, photography, film, graphic design, and installation – all connected by their incorporation of the reality of mass media through reference and appropriation on the one side and the usage of references to art history on the other.
Featured in A PANCAKE SHOW are works from the artist’s recent DEMENTIA-PAINTINGS series, in which Wohnseifer transfers digital images into the analog domain of the painted picture. In keeping with the series’ title, the artist focused specifically on visual signs related to this ubiquitous disease, where memory loss, confusion, repetitive actions, getting lost, or acting impulsively were thematized both visually and performatively through Wohnseifer’s own creation of these paintings. According to the artist, “Experiencing memory loss as a human being is tragic and painful, but at the same time the emptying out in painting can be very beautiful. Accepting these contradictions has actually helped me a lot.”
Johannes Wohnseifer at the opening of his exhibition A PANCAKE SHOW at KÖNIG GALERIE © Image KÖNIG GALERIE
In addition, examples from another new series, POSTER PAINTINGS, are displayed. These works consist of aluminum tubes painted in RAL colors – an early color chart system developed in Germany in the 1920s – with each set of tubes consisting of its own unique combination of colours. These containers can then be used for archiving posters, an activity that references Wohnseifer's long-standing practice of creating a poster for each of his exhibitions.
These are shown alongside a new work made of an anodized aluminum image fragment which is complemented by a charcoal drawing executed directly on the wall of the former Chapel at St. Agnes: a skeleton-like picture that combines pictorial object, drawing, and wall work, but nevertheless gestures to the formal language and practice of painting.
The text-based painting, PARTIALLY OVERPAINTED MoMA WITH CATHEDRAL COLORED SHADOW (2024) is composed of pigments extracted from the building materials of the iconic Cologne Cathedral. The result is a deft presentation of the museum as a site of archival memory through an act that simultaneously references the phenomenon of semantic saturation. In a material sense, the image provides its own shadow, referencing the titular cathedral, which at the time of its completion in the 19th century after more than 600 years of construction, stood as the tallest building in the world.
The only work on paper on display is a gouache by the illustrator Bruno Betti, which comes from the artist's own personal collection. It shows the sectional drawing of a leopard tank and serves as a kind of provisional poster for the exhibition.