press release

OPENING: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2007 6 PM

Daniel Hug is pleased to present the first American solo exhibition of German artist Hansjoerg Dobliar. Dobliar was born in Ulm, Germany and studied at the Akademy der Kuenste in Munich, Germany. Most recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Ben Kaufman in Berlin, Kunstverein Ulm in Germany, Galeria S.A.L.E.S in Rome and the Oldenburger Kunstverein in Germany. Recent and current group exhibitions include Perspektive 07 at the Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, Ballet Mecanique at Timothy Taylor Gallery in London, and La Bomba IV at Rowley Kennerk Gallery in Chicago. Following is an essay written by the German author and curator Veit Loers on the work of Hansoerg Dobliar.

Ultraviolet

For Plato and the pre-Socratic philosophers, geometry was something sacred, sublime and visionary, something which lay beyond the bourne of reality and yet was continuously present in the invisible. Albeit attributed to the realm of ideas, it was nonetheless in constant touch with reality, from the surveying of fields past the construction of houses and temples all the way to vase painting. Geometry is a cosmic principle which, however, does not always manage to develop according to plan amid the inadequacies of the biosphere. Viewed in terms of their ideal genetic programming, the crowns of trees and the nethermost reaches of their roots would in fact be stereometric, spherical shapes; similarly, the growth of crystals seeks fulfillment in the polyhedron in accordance with a mysterious plan, even if no claim can be made that it could ever attain this goal. If the cosmic principle of these Platonic forms were alone the guarantor of aesthetic bliss, then the avant-garde – at the latest with Minimal Art which, as proclaimed by its chief proponents, was actually interested in other things – would have come to a halt and established a dogma of a thousand years’ duration, a creed which would not have required as an appendix the movement of the New Geometries, namely Neo and Geo. But the history of evolution and especially the history of art proceed in a different manner. Again and again painters and sculptors in wood are impelled to undermine this scenario with wildly chaotic strokes reminiscent of the Stone Age, inasmuch as they confront the Platonic imperative and vocative with a Freudian ego and id.

H.P. Lovecraft, to whom Hansjörg Dobliar often makes reference, describes sunken kingdoms and forgotten, geometrically laid-out cities of pre-Atlantean cultures which he ascribes to ancient, extraterrestrial beings and which he situates in eerie, desolate landscapes or upon the bed of the ocean. These apparitions do not become more impressive if they are described as a resplendent, celestial Jerusalem, and Lovecraft accordingly depicts them under a reversed sign as dreadful, loathsome and repugnant just like the beings themselves, whose models such as YOG-SOTHOTH and CHTULHU, with their octopus-arms and lizard-like heads, not only surpass each and every ghastly creature of the earth but also emanate utterly horrible odors. The graphic designer HR Giger, who became well-known through the cinematic creation of Alien, certainly made use of these Chtulhus which, however, he derived from the work out of which Lovecraft as well drew forth his figures, namely the legendary book of the “crazy Arab Abdul al Azraq” (Lovecraft), for which Giger has now provided illustrations in a new edition. It is a matter of the Necronomicon, which is believed to have been written in the eighth century A.D. in Damascus and which reached the West through copies made in Byzantium.

Dobliar’s pictures depict luminous visions in mountainous landscapes; he materializes their rays in the manner of Bruno Taut but causes them to appear beneath gloomy auspices in pink-orange, violet and pale yellow, a vision of light which also emerges in the descriptions of Necronomicon and which was extravagantly extended by Lovecraft with the ultraviolet hue. Abdul al Azraq, presumably a converted Genoese captain, experiences his eerie visions of space and color while under the influence of drugs. The human being must make use in any possible manner of those means provided by nature, in order to come closer to its mysteries, and this applies to the polygonal surfaces and solids of Dobliar’s mirrorings and will o’ the wisps which have materialized or which are currently in the process of dematerializing. Perhaps they belong to a painterly soothsaying which does not divide up the picture geometrically like feeble Neo-Constructivism, but which instead restores to the forms and shapes the enigmatic nature that was once their own. If one draws nearer, it becomes possible to recognize the ultraviolet hue as well in the palette of Hansjörg Dobliar.

Veit Loers Translated by George Frederick Takis

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Hansjörg Dobliar
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