Via Lewandowsky, The Great Split, 2022
R E N É S C H M I T T
IFPDA, NYC, October 27 - 30
René Schmitt is proud to present a solo presentation of the highly accomplished Berlin based artist Via Lewandowsky.
An absolutely normal day.
An absolutely normal day - that's the title of Via Lewandowsky's presentation for IFPDA. Absolutely normal ... really?
During the last time of political change of epochal dimensions, Via Lewandowsky was a young artist seeking his way out of the GDR. He had already managed to cross the border before the fall of the Berlin Wall. His young family, however, had embarked on a passage towards Hungary in hopes of filtering themselves through the iron curtain – with an uncertain outcome. It was really not clear if and when the family would meet again.
Again we are experiencing a deeply transformational turning point in time - and Via Lewandowsky returns to a body of works with which he had caused a sensation after the fall of the Wall. Then as now, he uses collages and drawings, taken from medical and scientific publications to create existential images of bodies and objects in absurd and surreal manner to describe the end of euphemistic visions for the future of totalitarian provenance. Instead his works communicate as tangibly dystopian psychograms of social motifs and pictorial landscapes.
The shedding of blood in the Ukraine war marks the beginning of a new stage in world history, and Via Lewandowsky once again deals with the psychological collateral damage of authoritarian regimes. Then as now, supposed ideological certainties become mental pressure chambers in which the transformation of objective realities degenerates into a Kafkaesque nightmare.
Motivated such, the artist created seven editions for presentation at IFPDA, "The Great Split" (2022), executed as silkscreens and painted over individually, to become variants of a 'motif'. These prints also form the background for a staging of very different objects and sculptures, connected to each other by a methodical investigation into the linguistic constitution of reality.
These objects are energised by the surprises and unexpected turns that have always made up a large part of our lives. Despite weather forecasts, secret and other numerous information and forecasts services on the future, in everyday life major events often come unannounced. Why are we even surprised by the intrusion of the unexpected, the sometimes irrational, into our normalcy?
In his works, Via Lewandowsky has repeatedly examined past and present cataclysmic events in the private as well as in public spheres, mapping out their significance for aesthetic discourses as well as their impact on media as material, ultimately challenging all we want to believe in and how we think about it. He achieves this by transforming the experiences of the supposed banalities of everyday life into the singularities of his artistic objects.
These enigmatic narratives infuse Via Lewandowsky's conceptual and aesthetic powers. The reevaluation of everyday experiences opens up possibilities for him to create pictorial revelations that make aesthetically tangible the ocean of irrationality beneath our perceived normalcy.
The presentation at IFPDA thus becomes an everyday laboratory of the absurdity of an 'absolutely normal day'.
RENÉ SCHMITT, located in Berlin and Westoverledingen, Germany, creates superb contemporary editions of works by internationally recognised artists including Art & Language, John Armleder, Luis Camnitzer, Michael Mueller, Lorraine O’Grady, Tal R, Kay Rosen, Peter Saul, Ulay, and Rose Wylie.
René Schmitt’s reputation is founded on a rare combination of close collaboration with artists and precision and expertise in the craft of printmaking. This results in one-of-a-kind portfolios of which each edition becomes an exhibition in its own right.
René Schmitt is proud to be a member of the IFPDA (International Fine Print Dealers Association).