Wilhelm Sasnal

Wilhelm Sasnal
June 11 – July 31, 2010

Exhibition view: Wilhelm Sasnal, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, 2010

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Exhibition view: Wilhelm Sasnal, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, 2010

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Exhibition view: Wilhelm Sasnal, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, 2010

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Kacper, 2010

16 mm film projection, looped

12 min 

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Wilhelm Sasnal

Wilhelm Sasnal
Johnen Galerie, Berlin
June 11 – July 31, 2010
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Johnen Galerie presents the fourth solo exhibition with new works by Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal. The exhibition will include a selection of paintings, a 16 mm-film and linocuts.

 

The paintings’ subjects draw from an extensive archive ranging from personal to universal themes, from current affairs to historical subjects. Sasnal manages to capture objects, situations and people directly as they appear to him at a particular moment of his life, juxtaposing contradictory qualities such as poetic, banal, unique, stereotypical, political, mysterious, intellectual, intuitive, anarchistic, ornamental or minimal. For this exhibition the selection encompasses a kaleidoscopic spectrum reaching from the artist’s cat to the abstract ‘Southern Cross’. Also on view is a portrait of Hitler, collaged alongside a figure resembling the antique ‘spinario’, whose pulling out of the thorn in his foot has long been understood as man’s struggle with original sin. The detached approach and scarcity of dependable content of the paintings underline the limits of understanding through representation. Even when the meaning must remain elusive at times, nothing depicted by Sasnal is inconsequential. 

 

Sasnal proves great sensibility for approaching these different themes by employing a wide diversity of styles. His approach remains unpredictable and methods range from reduced illustration to gestural abundance of brushstrokes and paint.

 

Although he is best known for his painting, film has always been an important aspect of Sasnal’s practice. He prefers to be an image-maker rather than being categorized as painter or filmmaker. There is a cinematographic quality to his canvases, suggesting a camera’s view. Vice versa, his films possess a painterly quality. In his new 16 mm-film Kacper, named after his son who stars as protagonist, the boy leafs through the artist’s sketchbook, commenting on various drawings. After approximately half of the film the camera focuses on his son in different settings filmed during a period of travel to far-away countries. The soundtrack ‘Home away from Home’ underlines the transitory space that is entered when traveling. Sasnal has at times attributed his interest in painting to music, which consistently plays a key part in his films, providing the narrative structure for an abstract language of sensation.

 

Wilhelm Sasnal was born in Tarnów, Poland in 1972. He lives and works in Krakow. 

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