Slawomir Elsner. Coverboy
opening 03/07/20 2-7pm
We are pleased to present the 8th solo exhibition of the artist Slawomir Elsner in the Galerie Gebr. Lehmann
The title chosen by Slawomir Elsner, “Coverboy”, refers to models of old master paintings to which the art sciences have assigned a usually unvouched title: “Portrait of a Young Man”, “Portrait of a Boy” or “Portrait of a Young Man”.
Slawomir Elsner takes this up under the now common newspaper or magazine title of a picture, the cover boy. The fact that the Old Master paintings are always portraits – understandably of persons of a higher standing – is not visible to us today’s viewers through such vague titles as “Portrait of a Young Man”. Just as invisible for us is the actual painting, that is, the painterly quality of the picture. Today, we often see these paintings in the mirror of our experience with photographs of people: often just “cover boys”.
Slawomir Elsner would like to make these lost levels of painting visible again with the help of his drawing technique. In doing so, he renounces the recognisability of the person depicted and sharpens our view of the composition of the picture and the beauty of the colourfulness with sharp and delicate lines. “In general, Slawomir Elsner plays with disappearance in his group of drawings, i.e. the greatest possible graphic precision creates the greatest possible formal blur “* This deliberately blurred pictoriality of his drawings allows us to recognize the forms and schemes of the persons, which now allows us to engage more closely with the question: Who is the person behind the picture and what is this picture?
Slawomir Elsner is an internationally renowned artist. In his coloured pencil drawings he often refers to pictures from art history, which he transfers in original size into finest coloured pencil hatchings. With sharply set and accurately drawn coloured pencil lines, he creates shimmering agglomerations of colour when viewed from close up, whose lightness at the same time possesses a luminous depth. Only from a distance is it possible to recognize contourless forms and figures.
*Quote: Michael Hering on Slawomir Elsner in the catalogue “Missing. The Tower of the Blue Horses by Franz Marc”, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, p. 104