STRIPES 2015 / 16

a series of paintings, that challenge the historical 
and the digital archive as source of citation.
A kind of battle between the analogue versus the digital erasure.

oil on canvas 140 x 240 cm / 55.11" x 94.48"
© Klaus Hu 2015 / 16

courtesy North Western University digital library
Edward S. Curtis

1 photogravure : 14 x 19 cm [image size], 18 x 22 cm [plate size]
Original photogravure produced in Cambridge, MA, by Suffolk Engraving Co.

oil on canvas 140 x 240 cm
© KLAUS HU 2016

is based on a photo of the American photographer Edward S. Curtis from 1927, which documents an American Native sweat lodge, one of the few architectural shots of his otherwise cliché stuck portrait photography of  North American Natives. Instead of the exotic stereotype, this metaphorical painterly appropriation of the structure of the sweat lodge inside the landscape translates the social act of cleansing and of sweating.

The colored squares of EUROPA

Memory and matter. Site and territory. Identity and reflection. Political clashes and imbalances. Immigration and rising new nationalisms. Color field painting has not the intention to reflect on political issues, the same can be said about representational painting. Digital acceleration forces painting into a mere backdrop of decoration. Subjects, whether as reflection on the painting process, whether as philosophical or/and political reflection seem to be anachronistic in the fast pace of the market place. The squared territory. No media news cover currently, what is happening from its neighbors perspective within. EUROPA as a map is intended as a zone of free economic trade, without empathy of differences and imbalances. EUROPA as a mental map of memory and of its contemporary history simplifies the current situation. The Sublime as color on the canvas here refers in its duration to its own cause. 

A man from Mali said in an interview:  "We wil come / march towards Europe as long we dont benefit from our own resources and our own land".

continuity studio
oil on canvas 195 x 270 cm
KLAUS HU 2010/15/16


studio view

some random thoughts
inside my studio 

"The Americans" 1959 and later "The Lines of My Hands" by Robert Frank denoted the autobiographical subject view on (American) reality of the late 50´s and of the early and late 60´s. 

Today, we are haunted by digital collisions of layers of information, followed by voids of amnesia. The contemplation needed for abstraction and reflection seems being replaced by accelerated speed and overloads of images and gaps of white bleak time. 

Stripes, lines and dots are the basic visual (and mathematical) elements, which refer to writing and drawing (at the wall of the pre-historic cave). As we dive into an overall NOW, using multiple references, instead of single signals, the digital archive seems to have replaced experience as we have known it before. 

The old-fashioned hand-craft of painting with its system of reflection and debate is replaced by media statements across simultaneous channels. The painting process as contemplation is restrained by this expanded time continuum of presence and its 120 character twitter message. 

Even references to writers and philosophers seem lost in the digital stream. Jasper Johns has foreseen in his White Flags series of 1969 ( a statement also against the Vietnam war ) this white field of white noise as white stripes. 

Location, so much in use by Stephen Shore in his early photographs of street crossings, seems being replaced by empty signifiers, bubbles and hash tags. 

The difference and the clash between the digital and the abstraction of the painting process is exemplified here in a series of works, that also may act as empty signifiers of the art markets monetary evaluation. 

oil on canvas 120 x 140 cm 
© Klaus Hu 2015 / 16

oil on canvas 120 x 140 cm 
© Klaus Hu 2015 / 16

(deplaned after 5 pm)
oil on canvas 120 x 140 cm 
© Klaus Hu 2015 / 16

(after 5 pm)
oil on canvas 120 x 140 cm 
© Klaus Hu 2015 / 16

optional installation of STRIPES as ensemble
 oil on canvas each 120 x 140 cm / total 240 x 280 cm
© KLAUS HU 2015 / 16

The appropriation of photographic and verbal quotations as painted translation. An aircraft cemetery, located somewhere in the Mojave Desert (CLUI Center for Land Use), an iconic photo of Stephen Shore (“Second Street East and South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana, August 22, 1974”), two quotes by Jasper Johns and Ludwig Wittgenstein ("I AM JUST TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE PICTURES.", "WE SEE, NOT CHANGE OF ASPECT, BUT CHANGE OF INTERPRETATION.") juxtapose timelines with the paranoid reality awareness of the digital age  as sparing stripes of the canvas, which give the viewer the possibility to project the subjective perception on these unprocessed stripes of the canvas.

Die Appropriation von fotografischen und verbalen Zitaten in der malerischen Übersetzung. Ein Flugzeug Friedhof, irgendwo in der Mojave Wüste (CLUI-Center for Land-Use), ein ikonisches Foto von Stephen Shore (“Second Street East and South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana, August 22, 1974”), zwei Zitate von Jasper Johns und Ludwig Wittgenstein ("I AM JUST TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE PICTURES." ,”WE SEE, NOT CHANGE OF ASPECT, BUT CHANGE OF INTERPRETATION.”), schließen Zeitebenen kurz und kontrastieren diese mit der paranoiden Wirklichkeitswahrnehmung des digitalen Zeitalters  als aussparende Streifen des Leinwandgrundes, die dem Betrachter die Möglichkeit eröffnen, die subjective Wahrnehmung auf diese unbearbeiteten Streifen der Leinwand zu projezieren.

L'appropriation des citations photographiques et verbales dans la traduction peinte. Un cimetière d'avions, situé quelque part dans le désert de Mojave (CLUI Center for Land Use), à la photo emblématique de Stephen Shore ( "Second Street East et South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana, le 22 Août 1974"), deux citations de Jasper Johns et de Ludwig Wittgenstein ( “JE SUIS EN TRAIN JUSTE TROUVER UN MOYEN DE FAIRE PHOTOS.”  / “NOUS VOYONS, PAS CHANGEMENT d'ASPECT, MAIS CHANGEMENT d'INTERPRÉTATION.” ) juxtaposent des chronologies à la conscience de la réalité paranoïde de l'ère numérique comme des rayures éparses de la toile, qui donnent au spectateur la possibilité de projeter la perception subjective sur ces bandes non traitées de la toile.

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