Wednesday, 2 March 2016


Presenting Florian Heinke and Gavin Nolan at Volta New York.

Florian Heinke
... BUT THE GODS, the title of Florian Heinke´s recent exhibition, might be as well the headline of a political article in an international newspaper. Predestination through undefined forces be it fate or god and the question of humans ability to self-determine faced with different political contexts, still play a central role today. Indeed the exhibition title is not a coincidence, rather a response to the current social political reality.

Florian Heinke
Heinke’s usage of language as well as the motifs that compose his paintings are pure expressions of the social condition. His paintings are the condensate of his preoccupation with the political, cultural and human condition within the western society. Heinke’s decision in the series "When Time Sleeps" to abandon entirely language, is therefore to be understood as a deliberate reduction. The very spatially and delicately elaborated motives of this series - some of these large-format works can also be seen in the exhibition - resemble moments of inner withdrawal, timeless moments. The world is left behind - so it seems, but it is the calm before the storm.

Florian Heinke
Heinke creates quite intentionally his precise paintings using this alla-prima technic, making it difficult to believe that they are realized only by applying black acrylic painting on untreated canvas.
Especially in the exhibition context where the different types of images are displayed next to each other, it becomes possible to distinguish the different painting technics he uses to communicate his observations. Heinke believes in the emphatic power of painting and in the possibility to touch us with his works, awakening in the viewer the feelings of longing and desire and opening the way to a direct confrontation.

Gavin Nolan 'Moore's Law'
I think it's of little import that the viewer recognises the figure in the picture. Little or no attention was paid to gaining a likeness, in fact I've made deliberate attempts to disguise the figures; a fake moustache here, glasses when none were worn, elongated or distorted facial proportions, anagrams of names for titles etc. The figures presented were chosen as I see them relating to a particular archetype, and it is the combination of archetypal signifiers (not the autobiographical details) I see evidenced in the images that lay the foundations of the work. For me, the figures work as fictional characters playing out a role in an imaginary landscape. The landscape I see as the place where all things past and present have existed only in painted form.The abstract marks within the work I see functioning as a chaotic force, a signifier of the ineffable. The representational aspects function as a proxy for fact. The figures themselves serve as cyphers for me to play out my own position with regards to the practice of painting.

Gavin Nolan
Historic Nadir. An anagram of Christian Dior.

I was thinking about Chomsky's famous quote – "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously", an example of a sentence which is grammatically correct but contains no actual meaning. I became interested in the idea of fashion as a formal system analogous with good grammar. And furthermore the idea of fashion dictating aspects the visual arts. Juxtaposing a formally dressed, immaculately presented character (the rules of presentation have been adhered to) within a space where abstract marks, unnameable as particulars in any sensible way, are picked out, dismissed, accepted, styled and curated, based only on their form. A fashionable syntax.

Gavin Nolan

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