Jana Schröder at Natalia Hug

Artist: Jana Schröder

Venue: Natalia Hug, Cologne, Germany

Date: April 19 – June 2, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Natalia Hug, Cologne

Jana Schröder’s large-format paintings are developed through a performative practice between conscious composition and deliberate coincidence. Abstract images are accumulations of signs that refer to the artist’s personal gesture, unfolding into productive lives of their own.

A constant theme is the line. Whether being a trace of a movement, a hasty doodle, or a script-like tag, the line never depicts a world outside the image. It only expresses itself in a tautologi-cal manner. That ability is exactly the line’s subversive potential: to capture the attention of the viewer in one moment, only to leave them longing for representation in the next.

In Schröder’s series Kinkrustations, the lines transform into dense, living tissue where thick and thin veins follow the artist’s hand gestures. They flow into one another and interweave, layer by layer, forming a textured, luscious surface. Looking closer, the scattered, light-blue areas reveal the original blue of the oil paint. The pastose way of painting coupled with the haptic structure place the materiality of the paint in the foreground. A dark substance that holds its own, breathes and ages like the viewer on the other side. Kinkrustations fulfils a process of continuously be-coming as the drying process never halts completely.

Kadlites form the second series of works. Glazed with lemon yellow acrylic paint, the images resemble oversized post-it notes that capture brief information and keep it from being forgotten. Schröder increases that information ad infinitum using graphite pencil and paint brush to make notes all over the surface. Mixing turpentine with lead powder, she creates dynamic lines which inscribe themselves into the canvas in the form of contemplative scribbling or frantic crossing out. In contrast, as if stroking the surface with a rubber, she removes certain parts of the exist-ing lines and, by doing so simultaneously adds more lines. Thus, this then multi-layered surface reverses the very meaning of erasement: the method of subtraction turns into the method of ad-dition.

Schröder’s painting process is not so much that of singular authorship as it is a collaborative de-velopment. Her performative approach reminds of Gilles Deleuze’s concept of a Desiring-Ma-chine. Being the main actor, she triggers a production process and initiates a movement, whose course she ultimately can’t completely control and define. While she constantly has to position herself to match the material’s movement, the material, in turn, becomes Schröder’s accomplice.

Following this concept of interconnectedness, the exhibition is organized in two parts: Kink-rustations and Kadlites, the first part (Kadlites and Kinkrustations 1/2) flowing with the next (Kadlites and Kinkrustations 1/2), collaborating, coexisting.

-Susanne Mierzwiak

Jana Schröder (b.1983, Brilon, lives and works in Düsseldorf) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Prof. Albert Oehlen. She recently had a solo exhibition Spontacts and Kinkru-stations at Kunstverein Reutlingen, Reutlingen Germany. Her worked appeared in exhibitions including Hausreste, Haus der Kunst Sankt Josef, Solothurn, Switzerland; L‘aventura – Die mit der Liebe spielen, Palazzo Guaineri delle Cossere, Brescia, Italy; fine line?, KIT – Kunst im Tun-nel, Düsseldorf, Spontacts, Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and ‘Spontacts FX’, T293 Milan.