Wolfgang Voegele at Rod Barton

Artist: Wolfgang Voegele

Exhibition title: Upper Lip

Venue: Rod Barton, London, UK

Date: February 1 – March 3, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Rod Barton, London

Rod Barton is pleased to announce a series of new paintings and sculptures by German artist Wolfgang Voegele. Representing a significant development within his practice, Voegele’s previous process of dedicating himself to the focus of the “line” has been expanded upon by the introduction of colour-based compositions into his paintings. Having spent the last three years concentrating on the liminal spaces between the figurative and abstract possibilities of the line, meditating on its use with a masterful dedication, Voegele constructed a reputation for his compositions continual representation of the act of mark making. However, as the artist’s development dictated, there was a desire for the inclusion of colour, of an extension of the rigorous practice that the artist has been continually developing throughout his career. Exploring the space between the figurative and the abstract that the line constructed.

At a passing glance, the new paintings appear strikingly different from his previous practice. However, despite this, the works still hold a direct continuity with that which came before. The process of Voegele’s compositions remains steadfast and the development of appearance functions as a natural progression of his procedural agency. Instead of the line being the focal point of his work, it instead acts an armature, a powerful scaffold in which the artist hangs a significantly developed visual language that builds upon his previous work. Having begun this exploration as far back as 2013, it is a testament to the commitment of Voegele’s process that the paintings are only now being exhibited.

Alongside the paintings are a series of sculptures constructed from wood, chicken wire, ceramics, wool and paint that refer directly to the questions and challenges that Voegele’s work poses. Translating the compositional and form-based investigations of his paintings into the three-dimensional realm allows the sculptures to act as the armatures that the line in his current practice functions as. Taking the visual investigations that are crucial within the canvas into the physicality of the gallery, Voegele searches for the negative space left-out of his painting practice within the physical space of the room.

Moving deeper into Voegele’s work, representational elements begin to surface. First a body part, later an item clothing, a household object or the flotsam of natural materials coalesce before vanishing back into the canvas before they can be formally identified. Held together by Voegele’s dedication to walking the tightrope between the figurative and abstract, the paintings and sculptures enact a dialogic, idiosyncratic conversation in which simplicity and accessibility belie a complexity and morphology that is indicative of the artist’s oeuvre. The development of colour into Voegele’s body of work points out the way in which the artist focuses on and around the space he continually creates as a practitioner, representing a significant visual distinction within his practice.

Wolfgang Voegele, Upper Lip, 2018, exhibition view, Rod Barton, London

Wolfgang Voegele, Upper Lip, 2018, exhibition view, Rod Barton, London

Wolfgang Voegele, Upper Lip, 2018, exhibition view, Rod Barton, London

Wolfgang Voegele, Upper Lip, 2018, exhibition view, Rod Barton, London

Wolfgang Voegele, Upper Lip, 2018, exhibition view, Rod Barton, London

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled (Lampenheim), 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 170 x 130 cm, 66 7/8 x 51 1/8 in

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled, 2017, sewn canvas, wood, ceramic, chicken wire, wool, metal, acrylic, 240 x 50 x 50 cm, 94 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 in

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled, 2013-2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 140 x 110 cm, 55 1/8 x 43 1/4 in

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled, 2017, Sewn canvas, ceramic, compressed cardboard, acrylic, 188 x 80 x 15 cm, 74 1/8 x 31 1/2 x 5 7/8 in

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled (Neue Erkenntnisse über die Venus von Willendorf, Rückansicht), 2017, ceramic, 17 x 6.5 x 2 cm, 6 3/4 x 2 1/2 x 3/4 in

Wolfgang Voegele, Untitled (Mutter und Kind), ceramic, 48 x 35 x 8 cm, 18 7/8 x 13 3/4 x 3 1/8 in