Contemporary Fine Arts is proud to announce "The Innocents" ( The Innocents ), Henning Strassburger's first exhibition with the gallery.
Henning Strassburger brings the anxieties and hopes of his generation into the heart of his painting with a fatal equanimity. "People no longer see innocently, so as a painter I cannot do that either". The world we live in is vague and sketchy. Identification happens on surfaces. We constantly take on changing roles in changing constellations and contexts. To believe that any image remains innocent is an illusion.
In his new works, Strassburger has reached way back into the 20th century. Back to early Pop Art and to Jasper Johns whose gray pictures with their ciphers, numbers and letters came when the contradictory codes and symbols of our contemporary world were only just emerging. For his own gray paintings, Strassburger has used leftover paints to mix together “the most colorful gray you can imagine”. A gray that does not lack color, instead of uniting all tones and moods in one.
Abstract and figure, writing and gesture, form and surface, texture and materiality melt together in the simultaneity of the open frame. Asymmetrical sections draw us in very close. The existing reality material is disparate. Strasbourg integrates it as part of a specific present moment. Everything is recorded, linked together and continued: existential fear, the culture of fun, the low-risk satisfaction of lust. As a virtual thing, such a painting is no longer merely the modernistic “picture within a picture”.
Enhanced many times over, Henning Strassburger transforms his 'new painting' into a painting of paintings. A painting in which everything might be as uncertain as the present from which it continuously feeds. A painting in which everything is wrong and everything is guilty. A painting in which, at the same time and perhaps precisely because of that, everything is also as true and as innocent as it can be.
Text by Christian Malycha
Excerpt from the catalog
Henning Strassburger "The Innocents" , exhibition catalog Contemporary Fine Arts
published by Snoeck Verlag, Cologne 2020
32 pages, softcover, fully illustrated.
Henning Strassburger (born 1983 in Meißen) lives and works in Berlin.