Sabine Moritz @ Marian Goodman, Paris

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Sabine Moritz @ Marian Goodman, Paris

Postby CAP » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:25 am

LIMBO 2013
MARCH 22 - MAY 4

A German artist I’d not heard of previously but interesting for the strangely scattered yet methodical brushwork to what are essentially press photos of warfare. Yes she’s still copying photos but this at a safe distance, I find for the moment. At times she does drift back to the Nazis, but hey, "don’t mention the war…"

This stuff is hardly a game-changer obviously and I’m a bit surprised to find Goodman showing something as trad as this, (although she does show Gerhard Richter, so there are links - Moritz I think the current wife of Richter - so I knew her as a model, I just hadn't realised she was also a painter) but sometimes it’s good to come across some smaller, surer connections. Enough with the avant-guard! The show’s worth seeing (online or off) for a kind of lyricism all but condemned these days and in striking counterpoint to pervasive militancy.

The effect is a bit like Sue Rothenberg channelling Arnold Mesches, or maybe Leon Golub channelling Monet come to that, neither a particularly likely prospect, admittedly. They make for a kind of murky tremulousness that might be a comment on ‘mediation’ or alienation or the usual suspects when it comes to looking at press sources, particularly of warfare. The comparison with Richter is irresistible, really. Works are mainly easel scale which is surprising, since reproductions somehow suggest a bolder or more full-bodied facture, (who said I never pay attention to installation shots?) but the intimacy, as in a smaller Monet, works for me. Are we talking an Impressionism of pixels? Certainly Moritz is not to be drawn into any licence where colour is concerned. If anything, she de-saturates even the drabness of combat camouflage. The levelling is part of the attitude, the mood. There is the option to upscale there for Moritz, but I’m sensing temperamentally, she likes a more compact, closer game. They’re not exactly lush surfaces – maybe that’s why I’m reminded of Rothenberg – and occasionally the gestures get a bit bolder, as in Yellow Dress II (2012) one of the larger works at 130 X 180cm. It will be interesting to see where this leads. Although, balance this against some dodgy drawing. Figures might not be Moritz’s best option just yet…

Interestingly, Moritz yet another ‘Ossie’ rehabilitated in the west – is it something in the water over there? Another thing I liked about this show was the fact that all the work has not been cranked out this year, but is spread across the last few years. The works look unhurried, time-consuming and evidently are.

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