All I Think About Is You deals, in an associative way, with the various focal points of Art Informel. Artists such as K.O. Götz, Fred Thieler and Henri Michaux, who were pioneers of of the movement, meet younger contemporary artists such as Mahdad Alizadeh, whose sculptures oscillating between figuration and abstraction are given their own exhibition space. The works on display have in common an intuitive, abstract language of form that questions social norms and paradigms of strict rationality.
For artist and curator Michael Müller, the examination of Art Informel works resembles a private conversation with the author, ”which unites thinking and feeling”. Influenced by the culture of the postwar years, the artists of Art Informel in the 1940s and 1950s sought abstract forms that allowed for a representation of deep psychological processes. The fact that this kind of pictorial exploration continues to drive art today is demonstrated in the exhibition by recent works by artists such as André Butzer and Bernard Piffaretti.
One emphasis is on the moment when universal archetypes emerge from abstraction. There are the heads that emerge in Emil Schumacher's scratched layers of paint and Arnulf Rainer's etchings, among others; there is the totem that one encounters in Habib Farajabadi's wooden sculpture as well as in the sculpture by the artist duo KAYA made from found objects such as hair and clothing.
Another central motif of the exhibition is writing - a medium that the artists approach on a formal rather than semiotic level. Frustrated by the limits of language, writer and artist Henri Michaux gave expression to his inner world with Tachist ink drawings. His works, which were groundbreaking for Art Informel, enter into a dialogue with artists who play with the affordance of the written word at the limits of legibility. Friederike Feldmann's large-scale curved lines want to be deciphered as writing, although they lack letters; Travis Jeppesen gradually dissolves the elements of the Latin alphabet in his drawings.
The printed word becomes material in the works of artist Jenny Michel. With the help of adhesive strips, she removes letters from encyclopedias, transforms them into sculptures, or interweaves them with other materials in her collages. Floating unsteadily, the lexical definitions are robbed of their authority.
A creative approach to formal norms is found in works such as Dieter Appelt's scores, which defy the strict form of the sheet of music, and Karin Sander's Mailed Painting, which reinterpret the bureaucratic act of labelling as a painterly gesture.
At the exhibition's second location, the showroom Galerie Georg Nothelfer in Charlottenburg, Nadine Fecht continues the subversion of classifying materials in an expansive manner with surplus. Her nexus of price tags picked up in urban space meets a floor installation by Madeleine Dietz, who gives structure to loose soil using a luminous rectangle. With minimal gestures, the artist brings together the highly symbolic substances of earth and light, initiating an exchange about transience and transcendence.
Text : Donna Schons