‘London, Berlin 2005 -7’ SEPTEMBER 26 – OCTOBER 26 2008
Studio 1.1 www.studio1-1.co.uk
We have worked with Alexander Bühler over the past three years, building up to this, his first solo show of paintings in the UK.
Alexander’s work is very much a meditative process, an internal enquiry which nevertheless takes his encounter with the outside world as its starting point. In trying to understand, bumping into the physical world, as it were, he gradually becomes aware of cognitive processes which then evolve within the making of the work itself. Traces of thought seep into the canvas, as figures from the real world transmute into a pure painterly geometry, uniting the rigour of Mondrian and the delicacy of Klee in works of a confident simplicity. The exhibition is planned as an overview of his artistic activity so far, in an attempt to illuminate some of the influences and echoes suggested by his itinerary: born in Zurich but studying in London, and now living and working in Berlin. The show will therefore include paintings begun here, taken and sometimes reworked in Germany, and now returning to London. Unknown as his work is in the UK as yet, we believe that the precision and clarity of his work gives him the potential to be, ultimately, a significant presence on the international scene.
An important feature of the show is the limited edition artist’s book that Alex is proposing to make: not a catalogue of one particular exhibition but, for the spectator, a guide to his creative processes, and for Alex himself a valuable record of this stage in his professional development; just as the exhibition itself is a carefully considered presentation of his recent artistic activity amounting to an installation recording the subtle narrative of his journey.
Schnitzeljagt – Paper Chase, Berlin 2008
“You are here”
You are here is the title of the first work of the cycle made by Swiss artist Alexander Bühler for the exhibition project Schnitzeljagd. You are here describes an exact geographic position – in this case the Brunnenstrasse, which in recent years has become a synonym for Berlin’s promising emerging art scene. The question “where” has always concerned gallerists and among them are the protagonists, the brave ones and those who go with the flow. There are plenty of gallery miles everywhere. What has been affecting whole quarters and streets has now reached global dimensions – Berlin or New York. Maybe London, Paris probably not and then of course there are the even more exotic destinations like China. Colonialized by art.
For the time being, the Brunnenstrasse is still in a class of it’s own, and, what is even more exciting – it is bringing the big wide world to Berlin, bit by bit. “Schnitzeljagd”, in English “paper chase”, is a game many might remember from their childhood days. Played in two groups – those who hide something and those who search for it. The idea for the Brunnenstrasse is similar: the curator is the one who hides something, the gallery visitors become the seekers and the works by Swiss artist Alexander Bühler lead the way through the Brunnenstrasse. The works were produced by the artist during a residency in a London gallery, near Vyner Street, another popular and young gallery mile that has many parallels to the Brunnenstrasse. During his residency, the artist produced a new work each day and the works will have been displayed in Brunnenstrasse in exactly this sequence. The artist combines everyday objects with drawings to form collages. Characteristic of each of the works are the small wooden pieces, which can also be read as “hints” during the Schnitzeljagd.
As opposed to a solo exhibition in one of the most popular “art streets” in Berlin, the works by Alexander Bühler are spread across 19 galleries. They position themselves almost like a parasite in the galleries. To a certain degree this notion reflects my observations and the dynamics I have experienced in the Brunnenstrasse. It must inevitably be noted that those galleries who have opened more recently in Brunnenstrasse, strive to be part of the whole and also to have a slice of the cake. However, so far the co-existence of the galleries has worked well and they all make the most of the common geography. Through conversations I have gained many insights, ranging from sceptical views to unbeatable enthusiasm. Even more interesting was to see how each of the galleries position themselves in terms of one another.
In the beginning I expected about 10 galleries but eventually there were over 20 art spaces. Aside from the established and well-known galleries I came across various concepts and intentions. There is a constant coming and going – but one thing is for sure: the phenomenon Brunnenstrasse is alive and there are still more galleries to come, not only from Berlin.
Curated by Lisa Bosse