Volta Basel 2021

20.09.21 - 26.09.21

Press text


History and quotation in contemporary art

On display are three artistic positions that deal with historical events and art historical models: it is reference, alienation and alteration, quotation and the transformation into the genuine visual language and materiality.

KINKI TEXAS shows in his complex and multilayered paintings facts & myths of mankind and combines them with comic and punk. He translates historical incidents as well as historical persons into his specific visual language and personal cosmos. The American cowboy stands next to the Grail Knight, the high culture of the Greeks is countered with the trash of the American dream and its superheroes. In the process, the artist addresses classic genres of historical painting as well as the heroic image.
The gallery zombies of ROLAND SCHMITZ, are also bizarrely weird figures, inspired by the blue of Yves Klein or the pool paintings of David Hockney. Schmitz thematizes the artistic quotation and the current art business, the passionate incorporation of art by artists & collectors. His Reclining Nudes, knotted from bicycle inner tubes and then molded in bronze, also refer with a wink to art historical models such as Henry Moore or Hans Arp. 
PEER BOEHM works with the visual memory of humanity and the individual. Historical and contemporary moments such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, or current Black Lives Matter protests, are translated by him into his fragmenting visual language, just as everyday historical photographs of private individuals. Of crucial importance in his images is the blank space, that is, what is not depicted and, if necessary, must be supplemented by the viewer in order to grasp the image content and its meaning.

Peer Boehm (*1968, Cologne/GER) deals with individual and collective memory. He is as interested in very personal life stories as in historical events. And it is the "retelling" of the past, of what has been experienced, of stories and history told - often German and American - that he shows and combines in his drawings and paintings. Peer Boehm's works are based on photographic originals of people and settings unknown to him. He abstracts them through strong contrasts and reduction of the motif to the necessary minimum. In this way he limits his works in their readability and unambiguity. The empty spaces in the picture impressively convey the possible missing parts and gaps of a memory. The viewer must therefore complete the picture in order to recognize the content of the painting. To achieve this emotionally, through personal experience, is for Peer Boehm the decisive moment in the reception of his art.

Kinki Texas (*1969, Bremen/GER) deals in his works with historical persons and circumstances. He interweaves these in a freely associative manner into painterly-graphic collages and complex pictorial narratives. In his examination of art historical models, he creates contemporary images of rulers - or heroes - through satirical refraction and unconventional references. His anarchic pictorial narratives depict the diverse cosmos of an absurd personage: Grail knights, zombie cowboys, broadly grinning head-feet, and strange animal-men populate his complex canvases and works on paper. In addition to historical facts, Kinki Texas draws on classical Native American art as well as sub- and trash culture, comics and punk. In doing so, he combines his materials in just as diverse and unusual a manner as his complex content.

The complex sculptures of Roland Schmitz (*1972, Waiblingen/GER) are often created according to the model of a two-dimensional paper cut, which he transfers into multi-perspective and expansive abstract objects. In doing so, he allows himself to be guided by his artistic intuition and experience and, with his working method controlled by chance and experiment, aims to find a form that may lie outside his initial imagination. He then translates them into materials such as steel, copper, brass or bronze in color variations and different patinas. Roland Schmitz's objects captivate with their multi-facetedness and complexity, while appearing fragile and light. They are reminiscent of insect wings, flowers and organic forms. In his latest works Roland Schmitz cites classical formats such as equestrian statues and portraits of rulers. Roland Schmitz's sculptures are both ironic commentaries on art historical models and light-footed attacks on our sensual experiences and habits of seeing.

Private View
Monday, September 20
10 am – 2 pm, by invitation only

Public Hours
Monday, September 20
Public Vernissage: 2 – 8 pm
Tuesday, September 21 — Saturday, September 25
10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, September 26
10 am – 5 pm


ELYS, Elsässerstrasse 215a
4056 Basel, Switzerland 

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