David Ostrowski “Leeres Wasser (Anti Drawings)” at Fig., Tokyo

By Last Updated: May 12, 2023Views: 508

Characterised by a decreased shade palette, David Ostrowski’s apply engages with gesture and imperfection and challenges the ontology of portray. In his deceptively simple painterly language, wealthy with metaphor, he tries to set off the best attainable emotional results and energies with the fewest inventive means.

The displayed works, seemingly monochrome surfaces with delicate, damaged strains operating throughout them, proceed Ostrowski’s exploration of discount, however are distinguished by the truth that the seen strains on the canvas are the results of recesses within the portray course of: The primary layer utilized shortly and evenly to the unprimed canvas, is an acrylic grey from a tube. Simply as shortly, a broad brush was used to overpaint with lighter tones, leaving a grey line that runs by the image, often interrupted. The coloration is someplace between silky and creamy white. The canvases are bordered on the surface by remnants of wood baseboards, reinforcing the fragility and open porosity of the floor and the object-like character of the works. The collection was created round 2021, in a brief sequence of actions, like a thought that needed to be applied instantly, like a technical drawing.

The subtitle of the exhibition “Anti Drawings,” positioned in brackets, suggests a negation, an obliteration—an antidote to drawing.

However what does “anti” imply in Japan? Contemplating the excessive esteem wherein vacancy, nothingness, is held—together with fireplace, water, earth, and wind, the fifth of the fundamental parts in Japanese philosophy—it might even be the idealization of a drawing as a double negation: in spite of everything, there, drawing is the artwork kind that was given the consultant operate related to portray within the West, earlier than the latter was thrown again by itself phrases by modernism. On the identical time, portray grew to become an unbreakable damage, the undead, round which Ostrowski additionally creeps each cheerfully and restlessly. 

Negation is a elementary theme within the work of David Ostrowski: Every part he paints (or, within the sense of unlearning, un-paints) balances on the borderline between magnificence and impertinence; he structurally subverts obligations, protocols, and different views of portray, from spray-can drawing to imagined left-handedness. What’s placing listed below are the various methods wherein fixed negation has been approached from all sides.

If Ostrowski is all the time looking for new zero factors in his work, and thus on the identical time evading any attribution, then right here too his personal historical past stays as the ultimate anchor: “Leeres Wasser” leads on to his grandmother, the writer and satirist Krystyna Zywulska. The resistance fighter born as Sonia Landau wrote her memoirs from the Warsaw Ghetto beneath this title. The paradox it comprises goes again to her personal mom’s behavior, for lack of meals, of placing a pot of water on the fuel cooker each day within the ghetto to be able to simulate not less than a vestige of normality. Even right here, on this place, she discovered the grotesque in addition to the humorous—maybe it stored her alive. Towards the top of her life, she grew to become a painter. Ostrowski realized from her, fairly virtually, in play. Maybe play itself, like negation, is the second fixed on this work. “Leeres Wasser,” silent and darkish, additionally appears like a kōan, an Japanese type of riddle—the sound of the left hand clapping could be one other. Like his grandmother, Ostrowski stays a satirist, albeit beneath very completely different circumstances. With this homage, he finds an open area, and strikes on to the following.

at Fig., Tokyo
Till Could 14, 2023

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