In her art, Caro Jost deals with questions of how time, places and events can be captured and preserved in all their complexity. In 2000, she developed her “Streetprints” in New York, a specific method for making invisible traces of the past visible again, depicting them authentically and placing them in a current, contemporary context.
“Streetprints” are imprints of street and pavement reliefs on canvas. The environment itself is both the subject and actual print template. The traces that people have left in the asphalt over the decades with each of their footsteps or passages are recorded and blend together in the print, with time and place flowing together to form a single entity.
In 2010, Caro Jost began to look for traces of the Abstract Expressionists in New York. She researched and visited their former studios, noting and filming what is still visible today of these places where art history was written. In addition to the “Streetprints”, these efforts also resulted in the documentary “Final Traces of the Abstract Expressionists”, which was screened at the New Filmmakers Festival 2014 in New York and at K20 in Düsseldorf, among other places.
The current exhibition WHITE STREET is centred around Jost’s research on Barnett Newman’s former studio on White Street in New York. The artist projects a sequence about Barnett Newman from “Final Traces of the Abstract Expressionists” onto a large wall-collage of photos and streetprints of White Street - a filmic juxtaposition of what remains visible today of the artist’s former studio.
Expanding upon this wall installation is the new group of works “Invoice Paintings”. These text-based images are based on Barnett Newman’s original invoices (from the archives of the Barnett Newman Foundation). These mundane-seeming documents record the paint and other materials Newman purchased for his work in the 1950s and ’60s. Based on these templates, Jost produces large-format prints that she paints over. They are traces that - like the “Streetprints” - also point to what remains visible today: in this case, Barnett Newman’s paintings.
Finally, the exhibition is rounded out with a barely known use of colour in Caro Jost’s work: “Streetprints” that have been partially painted over with austere grids reminiscent of Manhattan’s street network - like a homage to Piet Mondrian and “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, his last work from 1943, shortly before his death in New York.
Caro Jost (born in 1965 in Munich) graduated from the Art Students League in New York and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (where she studied with Professor Jean-Marc Bustamante, among others) after studying law. In addition to appearing in numerous international exhibitions, her work is included in the Jumex Collection (Mexico City), ICC Collection, Chelsea Art Museum (New York), Colby Museum (Maine), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Municipal Gallery in the Lenbachhaus, Munich), Stadtmuseum München (City Museum of Munich), MoMA archives (New York) and Guggenheim Collection (Venice). She lives and works in Munich and New York.
WHITE STREET is Caro Jost’s second solo show at 401contemporary, Berlin.