Abel Auer

“The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette”

05.09.23 - 04.10.23

Tommaso Corvi-Mora is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Abel Auer.

“In the twenties of the last century reality appeared to be far removed from any kind of common denominator. It seemed nigh on impossible to draw a picture of the one reality. Everything came across as fragmented and had the air of a persistent detonation, an explosion that robbed one of speech, rendered the act of merely thinking difficult, and made people blind to causalities. When we are overtaken by an event, we find ourselves in a kind of suspended state. An uneasy feeling sets in that we have somehow lost control, as if the connections we have come to rely on are no longer visible – we enter a weak phase, life is loud and quiet at the same time, context falls in on itself.

I think the process in which great art is produced is more complex and simpler at the same time. The unique aspect about painting is that one steps out of time. In this sense painting has remained the same technique throughout human history, so as a painter I enter a much bigger timeframe.

The radical change towards a digital world at the end of the 20th century –like industrialization before it – brought transformation to nearly all areas of life, dragging behind it the baggage of very new challenges. Moved by the sense of alienation that accompanied this, one must again question the notion of artistic motivation. What function can art now have? What thought structures underpin the contemporary? What canon still makes sense?
We require special means to find an artistic response to the accelerated conditions that dominate this era we live in. Within this context, the attitude of the creative, the producing actor is afforded a special role. The secretively symbolic visual imagery applied by the artist, which appears to make direct use of the ideal fit of his “intellectual profile”, simultaneously provides access to a rational sobriety and spheres of supposed immensity. This gives rise to the possibility of a visionary understanding of cause and effect. And in doing so, the artistic perspective penetrates levels of perception that exist within human consciousness and being.

Doing contemporary painting feels weird nowadays because the present is a liminal space, during covid lockdowns reality disappeared and came back as a strange animal
suffering from progeria. AI taking over, climate change getting all too real and things we thought belong to the past like great wars in Europe are present again, things that are progressing are not really progressive and it feels like living in the future and in the past at the same time.
But when I look back, when I enter the time capsule of painting history, I find that this state of mind is not new. In Mannerism we see the distortion and cracks of the Renaissance, the Romantics found refuge from too much change and revolution, the symbolists withdrew from the reality of the industrialised and urbanised space into an inner imaginary world ....
So, within this tradition I find a lifeline that I can hang on to and find allegories to represent a life in 2023. Painting “destroyed” historic images after the end of modern art seems adequate.
There is a lot of falling and burying.
In 20th century modern art discourse there was much talk about “the death of painting” but history tells us that images and ruins are the only remains of lost worlds and civilizations.”