I Is Had Gone
April 2 – May 7, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2, 6 – 8:30
Thomas Erben is pleased to present Jutta Koether’s first survey exhibition of paintings created during the period from 1990 to the present. Simultaneously a noted writer, rock and fine art critic, musician, performance artist, and teacher, Koether executes her painted work in the interlacing of these assumed roles.
Further indicative of her position is the chosen title, which connotes, at first sight, poorly constructed English. However it is used as an instrument to open a disintegrated space in which the presence of an “I”, a fixed self, is either missing, present, or exiting.
Installed over aluminum paint juxtaposed with a mirror foiled wall and a gold fringe curtain, the paintings orbit around a large silver ball placed on the floor. There are two entirely red works and Das Wunder, das Wunder … ist wie immer (The Wonder … is as always) from 1990, an Antibody with a grinning double face, as well as a Very Fucked Up Painting from the mid-90s, more recent examples from her Hysterics series, visionary rock-inspired landscapes, and fresh out of the studio liquid glass finished punk collages.
Viewed together they reveal an interest in combative dramatics, using de-contextualized allusions to subcultures, extreme coloration, absent personages and de-individualized cult figures, and a vital yet enervating linear style which she uses accumulatively to reach sublime heights.
Koether has considerable clout. She had her first three-person exhibition (with Rosemarie Trockel) in 1983, followed by solo shows in such important galleries as Bleich-Rossi, Graz; Monika Sprüth, Sophia Ungers, Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, and Pat Hearn Gallery, New York (with whom she had six exhibitions). The Generali Foundation, Vienna, showed her work in 1991 as did The Swiss Institute, New York (with Steven Parrino) in 2002. The Kölnische Kunstverein plans a solo exhibition for 2006. She currently teaches at SVA and Cooper Union (advanced painting), is a frequent contributor to Texte Zur Kunst, Berlin. In 2004 there have been solo exhibitions Desire Is War and Allein! Allein! at Galerie Meerrrettich in Berlin and at RSFA in New York with Fresh Aufhebung. Jutta Koether is a part of Reena Spaulings, NYC.