Ron Amstutz, Vincent Geyskens, Matthias Müller (Works)
Ron Amstutz, Vincent Geyskens, Matthias Müller Press Release
Thomas Erben is very pleased to present the work of RON AMSTUTZ, an emerging American artist; VINCENT GEYSKENS, a young Belgian painter who has already received considerable attention in his native country; and MATTHIAS MüLLER, a German experimental film maker whose works have won him highly regarded awards in international short film competitions. There is no overriding theme or curatorial idea which would subsume the various artistic approaches and practices. However, each work is sustained by a similar level of complexity, an acknowledgement of the historical frameworks of the media employed and a concise execution.
Seen most recently in a White Room installation at White Columns, Ron Amstutz creates disorienting, colorful, complex environments which also serve as sites of performances for photo and video works. For this exhibition, he will display a previously fabricated sculpture of a man riding a donkey in a stage build diagonally as an obstacle in the gallery space. Thus directing the visitors’ circulation, he imposes viewing angles and entices the viewer-turned-performer into a dialogue with the installation. In his work, Amstutz strives to incite contemporary metaphors employing an array of disciplines. He holds an MFA from UCLA and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Vincent Geyskens will show small, exquisitely painted portraits of women which he plays against larger, abstracted canvases. They originate from a Belgian sensibility (“ceci n’est pas une pipe”) where nothing is what it seems. “Madril” is the semi-portrait of a blonde whose attempts for improved beauty went terribly wrong: the silicon breasts are grotesquely enlarged and a plastic surgery left her face bulging. This portrait of sickening abundance is set off by a lush, minimalist black painting with a blue and pink stripe, reminiscent of reflections of neon lights in a red-light district. “Arrividerci Solo 2” shows the back of an attractive woman dressed in a low cut ball gown marked with a slash of red paint. Combined with “Lapdance Limousine”, a painting of light reflections on a black limousine’s surface, the diptych evokes a mysterious moos without resolve. Geyskens’ painterly techniques are as multiple and simultaneous as his stylistic approaches. A campy, “bad” ’50s paint handling is set against eloquent brush work or old-masterly techniques. In 1999, his work was included in the landmark exhibition “Trouble Spot: Painting” at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (curated by Luc Tuymans and Narcisse Tordoir).
Matthias Müller’s film “Vacancy” has been screened to great acclaim at international exhibitions such as Manifesta, Ljubljana, 2000, and has received numerous prizes, including the Main Award at the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany in 1999. Executed as a travelogue with additional footage from amateur and feature films shot on location, “Vacancy” represents Brasilia “the ultimate utopia of the 20th century” (Umberto Eco) as a place abandoned from its inhabitants, a museum kept alive by its staff only. Images of a lone figure moving uncertainly, barren public squares, or workers scrubbing a gigantic white wall reveal an almost obsessive feeling of time and space, questioning in a persuasive way the idea of a modern utopia.