•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
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Current Exhibition

Johannes Wohnseifer

SELECTED WORKS BY Johannes Wohnseifer

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Johannes Wohnseifer
Braun Sugar

2004

Acrylic on stainless steel

140 x 100cm
Johannes Wohnseifer appropriates ready made cultural signifiers and reassembles them as invented logos. Both comically absurd and ideologically threatening, his paintings on aluminium infuse the frivolity of advertising with an underlying propaganda, subversive messages repackaged as high art design. Braun Sugar is a painting made specifically for a London audience: a witty merger of The Rolling Stones typeface with brand name German electric appliances infers an uncomfortable politic. Entrenched in the jargon of Pop, this painting makes a sly reference to a work by Richard Hamilton.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Landscape

2004

Acrylic on stainless steel

140 x 100cm
Johannes Wohnsiefer appropriates the cultural parlance of logo-ism into his own lexicon of conceptual art. Lying somewhere between text painting and ad-busting, Wohnseifer’s super-slick paintings allude to a corporate subversion, while they readjust the way art is read in contemporary media-influenced dialogue. In paintings such as Landscape, he plays on the traditional genre, stripping the image down to its minimalist signifiers of green and blue. Commodifying nature itself, he brands the sea and the sky with the jet-set slogans of global politics.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Behind the Stripes

2005

Acrylic on aluminium

140 x 100cm
Johannes Wohnseifer uses the language of consumerism as a means to sign-post personal identification within a contemporary zeitgeist. His slick designs suggest corporate culture, national identity and art history, re-mastering their aesthetic properties as coded conspiracy theories. In Behind the Stripes, Wohnseifer’s image makes ironic reference to conceptual painting. Appropriating the colours of Olt Aicher’s design scheme for the 1972 Munich Olympics, Wohnseifer infuses his logo with implied menace. Through the impersonality of media-style messaging, Wohnseifer draws autobiographical significance, citing the interrupted broadcast of the games as his earliest television memory.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Diamond (after 1B)

2005

Acrylic on aluminium

140 x 100cm
Johannes Wohnseifer’s Diamond is painted with comic mysticism: its corporate logo a meditative fixation, accompanied by a haiku-like slogan. Humorously playing on spiritualism as a by-product of global enterprise, Wohnseifer’s Diamond places advertising as the new religious art, extolling the virtues of faceless powers. Glossy, smooth and surface-perfect, this painting’s vacuous sentiment is replicated as echoing sublimity. Each work in this series has the same format: poster-sized paintings formalising subversive signs - themselves desirous commodities, loaded with philosophical meaning.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Untitled

2002

Acrylic on aluminium

140 x 100cm
In Untitled, Wohnseifer’s portrait shifts uncertainly between charming artistic sketch and police composite drawing. Labelled “Acquired directly from the artist”, Wohnseifer writes himself into the narrative as co-conspirator, idle bystander, trauma groupie. Through documenting the aesthetics of cultural anxiety, Wohnseifer’s media-style images become unwittingly self-validating.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Howard Hughes

2005

5 handmade puppets

100 x 20 x 10 cm
Johannes Wohnseifer presents the fictitious elements of an attempted assassination. Based on the story of the man who tried to kill president Ronald Reagan - John Hinckley – it presents him as pleading 'not guilty' based on the fact that he saw the movie 'Taxi Driver' by Martin Scorsese so many times that it was an 'Irresistible Impulse' for him to try to kill the president of the United States. With these works Johannes Wohnseifer is presenting the viewer with the links between real life and fiction in our culture, showing the influences that fictional and the real world have on each other and that very often the line between reality and fiction gets blurred in the process.
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Johannes Wohnseifer
John W. Hinckley

2005

5 handmade puppets

100 x 20 x 10 cm
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Ronald Reagan

2005

5 handmade puppets

100 x 20 x 10 cm
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Jodi Foster

2005

5 handmade puppets

100 x 20 x 10 cm
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Johannes Wohnseifer
Robert de Niro

2005

5 handmade puppets

100 x 20 x 10 cm

ARTICLES

The Painter Of Sleep; Johannes Wohnseifer
2nd September, 2011, by David Everitt Howe, Art in America Magazine

For his 1999 solo exhibition at the Museum Ludwig Köln—situated, appropriately, inside the pop collection—Johannes Wohnseifer put 16 monochromatic panels on the floor, each with a pedestals and an Adidas sneaker prototype. Conflating corporate branding strategies with artistic output, Wohnseifer seemed to fit tidily among a group of artists critiquing consumerism and spectacular image production—Pierre Huyghe and Josephine Meckseper, among others. In the years following, the Cologne-based artist has consistently emphasized the latent impact of minimalism on commercial imagery, even at the expense of Pop.
Another Year," his fourth solo exhibition at Casey Kaplan, infuses these serial minimal forms with new approaches to universal but personal themes like portraiture, and memento mori. Hair 1–III (2010) is a cluster of slate-gray monochromes, engraved with loose tendrils-like marks made by his wife's hair. Large, wall-based aluminum panels recall Helen Frankenthaler's bloblike white marks and patterned backgrounds; they are the artist's "pictures of sleep."
Stacked Studio Lights (2010) recalls Donald Judd's geometric interpolations into space, but the whole illuminated apparatus brightens, hums, and blinks to correspond with Wohnseifer's sleep cycle. Elsewhere, Waking up in Paris (2010) comprises a selection of ten framed postcards of the Eiffel Tower, with a less-than-picture perfect provenance. We asked the artist to flesh out the underpinnings of these disparate renderings.

DAVID EVERITT HOWE: You reference—and even commensurate—artists from minimalism and pop, which are sometimes considered opposite sides of the modernist coin. How do they correlate for you?
JOHANNES WOHNSEIFER: Minimalism and Pop I've liked since I saw them as a child in Cologne. But think of the Leo Castelli Gallery: that was a dealer who was able to reconcile both groups of artists, through the principle of seriality, which you see in a grid of Jackies on the wall or a Zinc Square on the floor. Both are easy to pair in a group show, and both influence the look of kitchens and flagship stores to this day.
When I made the installation Museum (1999) at the Museum Ludwig Koln, I didn't like the museum's floor because it didn't work with the shoes I designed. So I put chipboard on the floor, which were painted after German graphic designer Otl Aicher's color scheme from the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. To a lot of people it invoked Carl Andre, but it was less about the reference and more about changing and optimizing the space.
I re-used Otl Aicher's color concept [because it employed] bright pastel colors, and totally lacked the national red and black. Security guards and policemen wore bright blue uniforms. Aicher executed a counterpart to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin—"happy games," at least for a moment.
HOWE: Otl Aicher's color scheme brings up an interesting point, specific to how you politicize modernist design principles—International Style architecture, or typographic or furniture designs. What do you find particularly resonant today about the utopian agenda of so much modernist design and architecture?
WOHNSEIFER: The resonance has faded, because what started as a very human, democratic impulse became a pseudo-elitist mode of distinction: furniture design. I'm more interested in political surfaces—how politics are represented, how and why certain things look the way they do.
But I'm not a political artist. My mother helps refugees as a volunteer, which is much more politically effective than all the work I did as an artist.
HOWE: The images from Waking up in Paris initially appear as nostalgic found postcards from the Eiffel Tower. That they were taken by German occupiers during World War II charges them with implicit violence, but also seem to suggest the power of monuments to transcend cultural and political conflicts. How do you navigate the banal comfort of monuments against the type of monumentality historically deployed in the service of nation-building?
WOHNSEIFER: That series was sourced over a period of three years. The working title was Evil Eyes, and I tried to examine the vision of the occupant. I had them framed and presented in a mode typical to vintage photography, on a wall painted in a light grey.

Read the entire article here

Source: artinamericamagazine.com

JOHANNES WOHNSEIFER
Text written by Patricia Ellis

Johannes Wohnseifer’s paintings hijack ready-made cultural signifiers and reassemble them as invented logos. Both comically absurd and ideologically threatening, his paintings infuse the frivolity of advertising with an underlying propaganda and cultural hierarchy. Packaging subversive messages with high art impunity, Wohnseifer uses the language of consumerism as a means to signpost personal identification within a contemporary zeitgeist. Remastering their aesthetic properties, his slick images implicate corporate culture, national identity and contemporary art in his cleverly coded conspiracy theories.

Critically construing spiritualism as a by-product of global enterprise, Wohnseifer places advertising as the new religious art, extolling the virtues of faceless authoritarian powers. Through his appropriated designs, Wohnseifer slyly structures his directives with counterfeit meaning: sublime landscapes are reduced to ecology posters, British rock are bands reinvented with fascist innuendo and artists are construed as terrorists.

Each work in this series is in the same commercialised format; drafted on aluminium, his billboard style paintings are glossy, smooth and surface-perfect. Wohnseifer’s placard images depict, critique and become desirous commodities in themselves. Through combining accepted traditions of pop art with an ironic political ethic, Wohnseifer questions the modus operandi of cultural transaction, placing the role of artist and museum at its core.

Through the impersonality of corporate-type messaging, Wohnseifer draws biographical significance. His work explores how the intimate details of individual lives are cross-referenced and benchmarked through current events, fashion and global politics. Often drawing reference to the German history of his youth, such as the 1972 Olympics and the Red Army Faction, Wohnseifer writes himself into the narrative: co-conspirator, idle bystander, trauma groupie. Through documenting the aesthetics of cultural anxiety, Wohnseifer’s media-style images become unwitting validations of the self.