ANDRE HEMER: Deep Surfacing

“André Hemer—Deep Surfacing”

The montage of attractions was a 1924 theory devised by the Russian film director Sergej Michajlovič Ėjzenštejn, who ranks among the most influential and revolutionary directors in film making history for his use of montage and innovative formal compositions of image—and made by unprecedented technical developments. The montage of attractions looks in all ways metaphorically incomplete, cluttered and misplaced, with the spectator having to put in an active effort to make sense of the plot’s elements and meanings.

This chimes with the theory of the stimuli—where the viewer is awakened from the numbness of passively assimilating a plot unfolding before his eyes, and in fact encouraged via a forceful visual disruption to use his own imagination, stirring new emotions and associations of ideas. It also bears a correspondence with the concept of a hypertext; a system where documents (or knots) are put into relation with each other through keywords, allowing for an infinite number of possible reading paths.

André Hemer’ s contemporary Weltanschauung, is informed by our received and reworked notions of intertexuality theory as formulated by Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes among others. In keeping with this, if we were to define the term art we could begin with the definition of the Latin word ars; immediately rendered as simply “skill” or “mastery”, but also conveying other meanings from technique, to deception, knowledge, magic, gimmick, craft to theory, which gives an insight into the composite connotations this word has had since the Roman times. Most importantly new media has acted upon art in two different directions: the first, theoretical, concerning its very definition; and the second, more practical, about new possible ways of expression.

Thus, just like in the montage of attractions, André Hemer’s aesthetically charged and layered visions— on both a physical and visual level—are made out of complex digital images transposed onto canvas and punctuated via a manual and pictorial action, that defy while at the same time exert a compelling pull towards the viewer’s perception. This acts as a simple testament of hybridization (a remix) between the contemporary and the traditional. The given images, imbued with the author’s personal perspective, channel a new symbolism that the viewer is invited to interpret. According to a new way of montage that is applied to fixed visuals, art moves individual thinking, ideas and emotions through our senses, pushing past the material nature of places, volumes and matter.

Essay by Domenico de Chirico’

towards-deep-surfacing-5-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-36-x-27cm towards-deep-surfacing-8-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-36-x-27cm

In his new exhibition Deep Surfacing, André Hemer continues to explore the complexity of seeing in the contemporary world. We live in a time in which we are likely to encounter everyday objects as de-materialized digital forms as much as their physical incarnations. Fundamental notions of what it means to experience and determine space, light, and illusion all have been re-imagined as a result. The paintings amalgamate different ways of looking at the same thing within a single canvas.

deep-surfacing-6-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-72-x-54cm deep-surfacing-8-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-72-x-54cm towards-deep-surfacing-6-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-36-x-27cm towards-deep-surfacing-7-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-36-x-27cmHemer begins his painting process with sculpted forms of dried thickened paint that are then arranged on top of a digital flat-bed scanner. With the lid of the scanner removed, digital scans were captured directly under the summer sky of Vienna. The resulting combination of the light sources (the LED light of the scanner mixed with sunlight) manifests images that appear digital but are not produced in a strictly digital manner. The three-dimensionality of the captured forms is accentuated by saturated light and shadow, almost akin to 3D computer renderings that might suggest an infinite depth of space.

deep-surfacing-2-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-160-x-120cm deep-surfacing-3-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-160-x-120cmHemer then adds translucent layers of spray paint, acrylic, oil and very think impasto to create surfaces that are both optically and physically complex. These layers both cover and activate the imagery underneath, adding areas of painterly intrusion that further “materialize” the painting and propose a depth of surface that goes beyond traditional means.

deep-surfacing-1-2016-acrylic-and-pigment-on-canvas-160-x-120cmAndré Hemer received his MFA from the University of Canterbury with a research period at the Royal College of Art, London. He also holds a PhD from the University of Sydney. Recent solo exhibitions include Flat-bed Plein Air at Tristian Koenig Gallery, Melbourne, AU; and New Representation Part III at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, NZ. Recent group exhibitions include Antipodean Inquiry, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2016), Asemic, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2015), 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Beers Contemporary, London (2014), and Utopian Days, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2014). His work was also included in CODE Art Fair Copenhagen and Art Basel Hong Kong. He was recently awarded a six-month residency at the ISCP New York for 2017 from the Wallace Arts Trust, and in late 2016 will receive a New Generation Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. He has participated in residencies at the Villa Lena Foundation, Italy; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; and Seoul Museum of Art, Korea. In 2014 he was included in the publication 100 Painters of Tomorrow (Thames & Hudson, London), and is also involved in the forthcoming publication Painting Regarding the Present (Naives and Visionaries, Berlin). He lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents ANDRÉ HEMER: Deep Surfacing, the Austrian artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, to be presented in Gallery 2 from November 5 through December 17, 2016. An artist’s reception will take place on Saturday, November 5th, from 6 – 8 pm, and will be preceded by an artist’s talk at 5 pm.

ADRÉ HEMER: Deep Surfacing
November 5 – December 17, 2016 – 2685 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034.

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