Opening on November 11, 2017 ‚Unreal Estate’ is the second solo exhibition by German artist Christof Mascher at Hopstreet Gallery. On display is a selection of new works on canvas and paper as well as – for the first time – three smaller sized tapestries and a 3D hologram.
The exhibition title plays with the term of the „real estate“ and directly refers to the architectures that frequently appear in Mascher’s work. In most cases they are either still under construction or already in decay, remaining optional („un-real estates“) both in terms of their temporal and spatial dimension.
An ongoing interest in old and forgotten techniques as well as in new and upcoming media leads to continuous shifts and exchanges in the artist’s working methods. Common hierarchies are avoided by treating each artistic medium equally. For the current exhibition this practice results in works with a new relation to two- and three-dimensionality.
While standing in the tradition of classic narrative painting, Mascher’s often figurative, sometimes abstract work is not limited by the parameters of the genre, thus becoming more than a mere contemporary continuation of it. On the contrary, with his multilayered, multifaceted paintings and drawings the artist extends the known concept and by doing so, he establishes his own genre, which is best described by the term of „unrealism“.
Drawing inspiration both from art history and the pop culture of the 1980s and early 90s, borrowing from movies, books (Mango Islands) and video games (Kirby), Mascher’s visual language follows its own iconology, its very own path of inner logic.
The first impression of a coherent and perfectly understandable narrative seemingly crumbles and falls apart before the viewers’ eyes at a second and third glance just as do the architectures which fill Mascher’s picture planes. A single storyline splits into several parallel – horizontally arranged – plot sidelines (Pink Lantern). A single focal point fragments into a multitude of contradicting perspectives (Octave Cats), leaving the onlooker with more questions than answers.
By weaving these specific elements into the caleidoscopic simultaneity of his seemingly fallen out of time dreamscapes, the artist leads the viewer astray while at the same time drawing him in, beguiling him. For it is these logical dead ends and visual vacancies that add up to the unique alluring quality of Mascher’s body of work.
Christof Mascher (*1979 in Hannover) lives and works in Braunschweig, Germany. He graduated from HBK Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig in 2009, where he studied art under Professor Walter Dahn.
Over the past years, Mascher’s work has been shown in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including The William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at the Californian Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks; Philipp von Rosen Galerie, Cologne; Josh Lilley, London; Kunsthalle Emden; Marta Herford; Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal; Bonner Kunstverein; Kunstverein Hannover; Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst; The Happy Lion, Los Angeles, Mönchehaus Museum für Moderne Kunst, Goslar; International Triennale of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague.
He recently received a six month working grant by Die Braunschweigische Stiftung in cooperation with Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg which is linked to a solo exhibition at Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg in April 2018. In February 2018 Mascher takes part in the group exhibition ‚Schlafes Bruder – Ansichten vom Tod in der zeitgenössichen Kunst’ at Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken (09.02.–29.04.2018).