A word in advance…
Two large-format pictures in a (too) small exhibition space. That was our first encounter with the work of Wolfgang Ellenrieder, and also the first time we worked with him – in the context of the 1996 KunstRaum Art Calendar, which included one picture by him. Because of the minimal distance between picture and viewer, you are overwhelmed by exuberant foliage, tangled plant stems, bulging tubers and bursting buds. Not supposing yourself to be in some fantasy world of gargantuan vegetation, you look again, and realize that the picture is not at all what it seems to be. Wolfgang Ellenrieder shows himself to be an artist who deals in games and tricks and illusions. He plays games with our visual perception. Every time the eye confuses the objects in the painting with the representation of real objects in the world of painting as a whole, the viewer falls straight into a trap. Every time the eye thinks it recognizes something familiar, it encounters something unfamiliar; and while the viewer is in the very act of reading the picture as representing something beyond itself, he finds himself catapulted right back into the picture as picture, with nothing to go on but the effect of forms and colors. This ambivalence is at the same time a challenge to the viewer to seek afresh for ”truth“; but all such attempts end up with the fact that “truth” as such does not exist. The pictures in all their beauty are pure appearance, in which in fact nothing any longer appears; there is no presence within them save color and form; they carry no message – they are the message.
Publisher KunstRaum Drochtersen-Hüll Texts Stephan Berg, Thomas Palzer, Stephanie Rosenthal, Andreas Strobl and Hanne Weskott Design Martin Veit Book Includes 81 four-colour offset reproductions Binding Staple stitching Size 23 × 30 cm Pages 32 Run 800 Year ISBN