by Jochen Mühlenbrink
19 January – 23 February 2019
Opening preview: Saturday January 19th from 17:00 hours
Gerhard Hofland is proud to present FOG, an exhibition with new paintings by German artist Jochen Mühlenbrink (1980, Freiburg, DE). This is Mühlenbrink’s fourth solo-exhibition with the gallery.
Perhaps best known for his exquisite trompe l’oeil techniques, Jochen Mühlenbrink’s latest series of paintings can best be regarded as a philosophical approach to painting. By executing seemingly natural optic effects in paint, he is investigating the ambiguity of reality. Mühlenbrink’s works are depictions of physical reality, fictitious images and physical objects at the same time. Fogged windowpanes, for example, are in reality nothing but oil on canvas and exist both through the illusion they produce and the material of which they consist.
Both these fogged windows, as well as the series Daily (a continuous range of paintings that depict walls of torn posters, pamphlets and other papers once glued to a wall) are balancing between a celebration of painterly illusion and dystopian iconoclasm. The fog panes – their pristine surfaces disturbed by a seeming finger – at once become an image-in-image and also show what can be seen through them, while the images that appear in the Daily paintings precisely come from depicting a series of images that has been aggressively torn from the wall. While themselves his paintings are nothing but trompe l’oeil, Mühlenbrink appears to construct reality from paint, both as illusion and as the object itself. The tension his paintings produce, especially in relation to the connection between perception and expectation (that what we see, what we think we see and what we see because we expect to see it), is an experience that is upsetting our idea of reality: we see an illusion, but we are simultaneously convinced by the power and autonomy of pure paint.
Jochen Mühlenbrink (1980, Freiburg, DE) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. Here he completed the Art Academy in 2007 under the guidance of Markus Lüpertz. Mühlenbrink has an illustrious and devoted group of enthusiasts and was named one of the “most important representatives of painting in Germany” by the German art journal Weltkunst. In the Netherlands, his works have been acquired by prominent collections such as KPMG and De Groen Fine Art Collection, among others, while in Germany his work was recently acquired by the Stadtmuseum Oldenburg during his solo-exhibition FALZ.