1 FEBRUARY – APRIL 2023Andreas Schmitten’s exhibition, DRAWINGS, at the Jakobihaus at the Künstlerverein Malkasten in Düsseldorf showcases the artist’s works on paper, drawn from two series in particular, CHIMERA ELECTRIFIED and NOTHING NEW. In the former, Schmitten appropriates graphic renderings from instruction manuals with a single, malevolent twist: Rather than demonstrating how to properly use a given object, Schmitten creates scenes in which users have done just the opposite, harming themselves to tragic-comedic effect. The clear, stylized drawings are executed on pastel-coloured paper housed in matching frames. In NOTHING NEW, Schmitten borrows from the comic book storyboard format with individual frames in watercolour and pencil, which show a group of men as they enter prison, select clothing, visit the barber, and play basketball in the courtyard. In another, scientists in protective gear inspect plants that have sprouted in a display of shoes in a store.In both workgroups, Schmitten rearranges seemingly innocuous scenes to produce sinister combinations of commodities – saws, shoes, prison garb – and the human activities that intersect with them.
© Images Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf