After his participation in our group exhibiton ‘The Erotic Sublime’ in Salzburg in 1998, this will be Gerwald Rockenschaub’s first solo exhibition at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Gerwald Rockenschaub’s work, characteristic for its vibrant colours, shiny surfaces and minimalist forms, streches from painting to plexiglasboxes, colour foil pictures, silk screen prints and inflatable PVC objects. The visual language of Rockenschaub’s works has a lot to do with consumer goods, design and logo culture.
Using prefabricated colours and industrial means of production, Rockenschaub’s works never show any traces of the artist’s hand. The creative work of Rockenschaub, hence, is not in the actual production of the work, but in the selection of it, its arrangement, and its organization. Showing the viewer where to look, what to touch, what to hear, Rockenschaub aims to highten the viewer’s visual and aural sensibilities. His minimalist aesthetic and his use of vibrant colours are part of this goal to achieve a high degree of intensity, in order to evoke strong responses of the viewer’s senses.
His aim of developing a direct relationship with the viewer, is based on his wish of not to entertain but to involve people in his art. His paintings are not only works of art on a wall, but they are objects that are in relation not only with the viewer but also with the space they inhabit. Rockenschaub aims at an analysis between the work and the space of the gallery, as well as the work and the viewer. His large scale inflatable objects literally divide up the space in which the viewer is moving, hence forcing him or her to take a particular route through that particular space. With these objects as well as with railings, chairs, or movable staircases arranged in a certain way, Rockenschaub aims to involve the viewer in so far as he wants the viewer to touch the object, lean against the railing or walk up the stairs to get a certain view.
Rockenschaub is interested in the interrelations between high and low culture and especially the connections between all kinds of electronic music and the fine art practice. Rockenschaub was member of the group “Multo Brutto” and he was also active as a DJ. Investigating the boundaries between art and technology, high and low art and culture Rockenschaub analyses the conditions out of which art arises.
Rockenschaub’s exhibition history goes back to the early 1980s. Since then his work has been widely exhibited in private and public galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. Last year an extensive survey of his work entitled ‘Funky minimal’ was staged at the Kunstverein Hamburg and the Le Consortium in Dijon. Other important shows this year include a solo exhibition at the BAWAG Foundation in Vienna and exhibition participations at the Vitra Design Museum Berlin and the Kunsthalle Krems, Austria.
Born in 1952 the Austrian Gerwald Rockenschaub today lives in Berlin.