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Catalogue ›Office Riot‹ | Lachenmann Art

Catalogue ›Office Riot‹ | Lachenmann Art

Catalogue ›Office Riot‹ | Lachenmann Art

Year: 2018

Dimensions: 24 cm x 17 cm x

Pages: 321

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Catalogue for the group exhibition ›Office Riot‹, which took place from January 20 to March 2, 2018 at the Lachenmann Art Gallery in Konstanz and from September 7 to November 9, 2018 at the Lachenmann Art Gallery in Frankfurt. Texts by Jim Herman, Drew Beattie, Ben Shepard and the Lachenmann Art Team.

With selected works by Drew Beattie & Ben Shepard.

"Office ['äf-,'ôfis ], English for office, study, writing room.

Riot ['rīƏt], English for uprising, unrest, rebellion, riot, chaos, chaos.

The artist duo Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard met at the University of Chicago in 2004. In 2013 they decided to work together, the results of which were exhibited for the first time two years later under the name ›DBBS‹. Ben Shepard sums it up with the words ›The elective affinities worked out right, and we gave birth to a creative force. Call it DBBS.‹

We gave birth to a creative force. Call it DBBS.

Drew Beattie was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1952 and his works can be found in numerous international art museums. Since the 1970s he has taught at some of the best universities in the United States, including Harvard, Berkley and the University of California. Most recently, he has been a "Distinguished Lecturer" at Hunter College in New York since 2011. Ben Shepard, born in 1984, studied philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is currently working on various interdisciplinary projects, such as a university shared apartment that represents free, interdisciplinary teaching. He commutes between Shanghai and New York. More than 250 works by the DBBS duo will be on display at Lachenmann Art. Due to the large number of colorful acrylic works, the tour through the exhibition rooms turns into an almost overwhelming art experience. The works of the two artists are being shown exclusively at Lachenmann Art for the first time in Germany. The exhibited works all have the same dimensions (24 x 18 inches / 61 x 45.7 cm). Most of the works are in portrait format, a few are presented in landscape format. In terms of content, they consciously oscillate between figuration and abstraction and use a wide range of colors. Each work is self-contained and can be viewed individually, but its impact is multiplied by the unusual hanging and the unprecedented number of paper works presented simultaneously. The duo's impulsive dynamism can be felt everywhere. In addition to abstract and figurative elements, the sheets also contain literary elements and deal with political, historical and philosophical themes, as well as individual memories of the artists themselves.

A paper seems like a thought

Many artists use paper as a medium for preliminary sketches. For DBBS, who have also created large canvas works, the choice of paper as a background is a conscious decision that is intended to embody the fleetingness of thoughts, as Drew Beattie explains in an interview: ›A paper seems like a thought‹. A special feature is the joint creation of the works, the actual act of creating the individual sheets in collaboration between the two artists. During the work process, the sheets are horizontal, which gives the artists a bird's eye view and thus a holistic overview. The starting point for this act of creation is the intensive exchange of ideas on striking topics that are also questioned philosophically. They then devote themselves intensively to analyzing the choice of color and mix an average of seven to ten colors per sheet, which support the subject of the work and give it an individual impact.

In the New York art scene, the German artists Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) and Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) are considered to be important post-war artists with a great influence on the contemporary American art that followed. Numerous elements and references from these and other artists, such as Jonathan Meese (*1970), can be found in the works of the DBBS duo as an inspirational impulse.

The collaboration is like an umbrella of energy. –Drew Beattie

Due to his affinity for the work of the German painters mentioned above, Drew Beattie had a desire to hold an exhibition in Germany years ago. We met Drew during the 2016 Gallery Weekend in Berlin through Alexander Iskin. Our visions for this major project coincided and after several months of planning and preparation, we are happy to finally be able to make this extraordinary exhibition ›Office Riot‹ accessible to the public."

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