AboutStephen Friedman Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of collaborative work by British artist Paul McDevitt and German artist Cornelius Quabeck.
It is in the fantastical setting of Bierstadt (Beer City) that McDevitt and Quabeck form this, their third artistic alliance developed over the last two and a half years. An imagined meeting space, or conceptual âpub,' Bierstadt provides the point of contact for two friends working in geographically disparate studios to share their daily thoughts and practice. The very tangible results created within this imagined space are a series of rich collaborative drawings populated with a world of cartoon-like figures, fantastical creatures, and pop cultural references. Borne out of a postal exchange between Quabeck in San Francisco, and McDevitt in Berlin, each artist started a loose drawing before sending it to the other for his contribution in a trans-Atlantic re-working of the Surrealist game of the âExquisite Corpse'.
The sculptural elements and paintings included in this exhibition are also the result of the collaboration but in this case, worked onsite together in studios in Germany and the UK. Frequently alluded to in this body of work is the 19th Century German-American landscape painter, Albert Bierstadt. An historic figure, whom both artists encountered together during a residency in San Francisco. An aptly named inhabitant for their âBeer City', this figure is but one example of their shared cultural references that make up this rich body of work. The collaboration as a whole is thus characterized by a swift pace of exchange and an insistence on each work as open-ended, each one possibly the continuation, contradiction or counterpart to its predecessor.