artist / participant
The Second exhibition at Klosterfelde Linienstraße shows works by Jonas Lipps (*1979).
Watercolours in various formats, though rarely extending beyond A4, are presented in rows, or on one wall in a loose organisation. They show remembered and sometimes previously photographed situations, constructed images, but also elements from public image-banks such as newspaper photos or advertisements.
All the genres seem to be included: landscape, portrait, still life, and at the same time none of these, since the thing represented is, though recognizable, never physical, or tangible, or object-like. When using photographic sources, particular parts are emphasized by the tracing of contours, subsequently covered with transparent layers of paint. In this kind of painting it's not a question of a demonstration of virtuosity, more important is how, in the painting process, there are repeatedly changes of orientation, and detours, which result from self-imposed constraints and resistances. Lipps often works with papers which are badly suited to watercolour, and which through the subsequent loss of control over the paint flow, prevent a predetermined representation. This paper can be of different origins and qualities: leaflets, book pages, or the squared pages of exercise books, partly stained and ripped. On some sheets, by leaving the edge white, a Polaroid-like format comes about, like a passe-partout.
The manner in which the images are framed resembles film stills. A large part of the information seems to lie outside the image; the before and after is implied. None of the motives depict an extraordinary event, often they are casual gestures, and constellations of anthropomorphic figures, persons or things. The viewer thus lands in a situation which however avoids the anecdotal. Also the letters that appear now and then in a picture, from which one can't help trying to read a sense, remain signs without a designated meaning, a kind of diversionary manoeuvre by means of decoding.
The volatile, unstable watercolour medium is the appropriate technique for motifs which include the incapacity to represent an object in its complexity, and the failed search for solutions as offered possibilities. Lipps works simultaneously with and against a traditional, compositionally balanced style of painting, and demonstrates with his figures that sometimes veer into the grotesque, and hysterical forms, what necessarily remains fragmentary in the process of representing the world.
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