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Friday, August 26, 2011

Eye This Guy

Opening this Sunday at one of Chicago's more off the beaten path art tracks:

Volker Saul
Rough Cuts

Devening Projects + Editions
3039 West Carroll
Chicago, IL 60612

I've had the pleasure of meeting Volker when I was studying and living in Cologne, Germany. I was immediately attracted to his bold and simple use of drawing elements for massive wall installations in pristine galleries and raw spaces. At the time, he was also drawing abstract figures directly from oil paint tubes that looked like alien organs undergoing perverse transformations. In 2006, I curated one of Volker's larger wall drawings into a Chicago group show, and he has been exhibiting with Devening Projects ever since.

From the gallery's press release:

For more than 25 years, Cologne-based artist Volker Saul has been amassing an extensive internal database of organic and body-suggestive imagery that continually morphs to satisfy the needs of the most current project. The result of that processing is remarkably varied — drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, site-specific wall paintings and public sculpture. The pieces presented in Rough Cuts are resolute; the new forms are concentrated, cut out, compositionally efficient and offered up in an emblematic or heraldic presentational format. This laser-cut aluminum work offers a very rich visual and conceptual experience for the viewer. The material is machined to perfection, but the images are provocative and not always with the most appealing associations. Internal organs, appendages, insects, plant forms, and prickly surfaces carry on in exotic circumstances. The results are graphically satisfying but also peculiar, much like the way a disturbing dream troubles well after the images evaporate.

Volker is a dedicated artist whose practice firmly explores the relationship between drawing, sculpture, and space. He has an immediately recognizable style, but the changes in each new body of work shows there is so much left for this mid-career artist to explore.

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