Sebastian Burger at Tobias Naehring

Pungi - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Artist: Sebastian Burger

Exhibition title: Birth of Serpents

Venue: Tobias Naehring, Leipzig, Germany

Date: January 8 – Februry 20, 2016

Photography: images copyright and courtesy the artist and Tobias Naehring, Leipzig

The exhibition Birth of Serpents presents new works by Sebastian Burger, produced over the past year. The title comes from the eponymous 2011 song by the American band The Mountain Goats. The lyrics of the song speak of the quest for memories, delving into one’s personal past and the self: „See that young man who dwells inside his body like an uninvited guest“. In this new series Sebastian Burger explores the ideas of physicality, dissolution and renewal – not unlike how a snake sheds its skin.

Objects arranged in still lifes, fragmentary landscapes and cartoonish, martial characters permeate and complement each other throughout the compositions. The paintings’ subjects evoke individually charged associations depending on the viewer or context, yet still evading complete decryption. Sebastian Burger’s visual vocabulary draws on both that of Pop Art – in particular the work of James Rosenquist – as well as cinema. The aggressive archetypal figures e.g. clad in biker and bomber jackets can be traced back to underground cinema classics such as Scorpio Rising (1964) by Kenneth Anger or more recent: the neo-noir thriller Drive (2011) by Nicolas Winding Refn. When the fractures deem perilous, Sebastian Burger inserts ironic breaks. The effect of both the resolution and color in his work creates a direct anology between painting and film. The overexposure and illuminated quality of 16 mm film finds its counterpart in the intensity of the many superimposed layers of paint and their colors.

Sebastian Burger combines illusionism with flatness, transparency with opacity and color with contour: the paradigms of painting. In accordance to the idea that a painting is a structure consisting of inner as well as outer references, the lyrics form an extra-pictorial passage that accompanies the work.

Marijana Schneider (Museum der Moderne, Salzburg), 2016

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Boi Y - Acryl auf Leinwand, 220 × 155 cm, 2015.jpg

Sebastian Burger, Boi Y, 2015

Boi A - Acryl auf Leinwand, 220 × 155 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Boi A, 2015

Arma - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Arma, 2015

GMDSS - Öl auf Papier, 148 × 100 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, GMDSS, 2015

Jacke - Öl auf Papier, 100 × 70 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Jacke, 2015

MAni - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Mani, 2015

Melba - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Melba, 2015

Phil - Öl auf Papier, 70 × 50 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Phil, 2015

Pungi - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Pungi, 2015

Roto - Öl auf Papier, 70 × 50 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Roto, 2015

Tonfa I - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Tonfa I, 2015

Tonfa II - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Tonfa II, 2015

VAD - Öl auf Papier, 70 × 50 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, VAD, 2015

Visier - Öl auf Papier, 50 × 35 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Visier, 2015

Visor - Öl auf Papier, 35 × 25 cm, 2015

Sebastian Burger, Visor, 2015

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