painting, installation

Alexander Wolff

Germany 1976

Installation, Conceptual Art, Video Art, Painting

Alexander Wolff
Alexander Wolff
April 8, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Alexander Wolff is a German artist born in 1976, in Osterburg. Wolff’s paintings continually try to disintegrate the traditional process of painting, or invent new possibilities to engage with the dialogue between the canvas and the paint itself. Focusing on the primary conditions upon which picture-making depends, he tries to analyze the most basic circumstances that produce whatsoever form. He graduated from Akademie der Bildenden Küenste, Vienna, and received his MFA from the Städelschule Frankfurt am Main in 2002.

Paint as Inseparable Part of a Design

During Wolff’s two-year stay in Los Angeles, he started experimenting with the use of fabric dye that gets thrown or poured directly on the wet canvas, resulting in a paint application that is completely integral to the fabric fiber. The paint becomes one with the canvas, inseparable with the design. In a further continuation of the relation between these two elements, Wolff has begun to take apart the succession of processes that generally constitute a painting, and to make works where the sewing together of singular pieces into a whole canvas becomes intermixed with the application of dye, or the use of the fabric itself as a printing device or brush. At the base of these experiments stands the examination of the languages of painting as a whole and the reflection about the conditions for the occurrence of a specific aesthetic. For Wolff the myth of creation and the ground for decisions are more connected with intention and intuition, which are in every case specifically situated in a cultural and historical context.

“Churches on West Adams Boulevard”

Wolff’s video “Churches on West Adams Boulevard” was also produced during artist’s stay in Los Angeles over the course of 2011 and 2012. The three and a half hour long piece is a study of architecture and interior design along the 6-mile long street in the L.A. neighborhood of West Adams. It is a portrait of spiritual America and its multifaceted appearances, as well as of an area with a specific history and a distinctive aesthetic somewhere between improvisation and communal identity. Inspired by Ed Ruscha’s photo series “Every Building on the Sunset Strip”, 1966, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s “Learning from Las Vegas”, 1972, Wolff’s video explores the typology of a specific form of architecture with its particular yet diverse spatial and formal qualities.

Contextualization of Wolff’s Works

Wolff’s practice has always been concerned with the contextualization of his works in the exhibition space. Before the opening of his exhibition at Galerie Mezzanin, in 2009, Wolff arranged everything himself, but in the days that followed he left it up to the gallery staff to exchange some of the pictures at weekly intervals as they saw fit. This demonstrative relinquishing of the show’s installation was actually just a cunningly displaced insistence on design, as Wolff in fact linked together the individual works to form a cohesive yet rearrangeable installation – space, image, and material seemed mutually permeable, and their rotation was part of his exhibition structure.

Other Spheres of Wolff’s Oeuvre

In the work of Wolff the discourse on painting takes place not only in the domain of painting itself, like in the analysis of its abstract, formal and non-representative vocabulary, but also in many other spheres. Wolff thus works as a co-editor of a journal, he is active as a musician, and takes part in various artistic collaborative projects to explore and speculate on the vagueness of references and the rhetorics of art history or popular culture, and the possibilities of their re-contextualization.
While engaged with the continuous process of painting, Wolff makes recourse to theatrical elements such as rhythm, repetition, lack of stability, variability, fragmentation or emptiness. These reveal painting to be a site-specific artistic activity which always occurs only in concrete situations due to gradual convergence of affirmation and self-questioning.

Alexander Wolff lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Picasso in der Kunst der GegenwartDeichtorhallen, HamburgGroup
2014Exegetically ImpossibleNatalia Hug Gallery, KolnSolo
2014Kunsthalle Lingen JVA Lingen JVA Lingen Abteilung DamschkeKunsthalle Lingen, GermanySolo
2014Alexander WolffGalerie Johann Widauer, InnsbruckSolo
2014Et al.San FranciscoGroup
2013Alexander WolffFederico Bianchi contemporary Art, MilanoSolo
2013Alexander WolffAnne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, BaselSolo
2013Vielleicht sehe ich auch zu tief in die Dinge hineinOverbeck-Gesellschaft Kunstverein LubeckGroup
2013Interior 301Galerie Alain Gutharc, ParisGroup
2013Chat JetKunstlerhaus, Graz Group
2012Alexander WolffGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2012Alexander WolffOverbeck Gesellschaft, LubeckSolo
2012Alexander WolffPro Choice, ViennaSolo
2012Die Erklarte AusstellungKunstlerhaus KlagenfurtGroup
2012Made in Germany ZweiSprengel Museum Hannover, Kestnergesellschaft, Kunstverein HannoverGroup
2012abc - art contemporary with Gallerie MezzaninViennaGroup
2011Alexander WolffStudio Sandra Recio, GenevaSolo
2011Matt Chambers & Alexander WolffSteve Turner Contemporary, Los AngelesSolo
2011Marek Meduna and Alexander WolffSVIT, PragueSolo
2011New Shadow Old LegsEleven Rivington, New YorkGroup
2011Mind the GapKAI 10, DusseldorfGroup
2011Marek Meduna and Alexander WolffSVIT Gallery, PragueGroup
2010Anne Mosseri-Marlio GalerieNADA Art Fair 2010, Miami BeachSolo
2010Tomas Downes and Alexander WolffPeles Empire, LondonSolo
2010Mitzi Pederson and Alexander WolffAnne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, ZurichSolo
2010Alexander WolffStudio Sandra Recio, GenevaSolo
2010Alexander WolffFederico Bianchi Contemporary Art, MilanSolo
2010The Eternal Reoccurrence of EverythingWorkspace, Los AngelesGroup
2009Aufmerksamkeitslenkung auf andere DingeGalerie Ben Kaufmann, BerlinSolo
2009In Memory of Painting 6, with Birgit MegerleLayr Wuestenhagen, ViennaSolo
2009Ausstellung fur leidenschaftlich an sich selbst interessierteGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2009Alexander WolffBrown Project Space, Milan Solo
2009over and outZeitgenossische Ausstellungshalle, MunsterGroup
2009Ein Traum ist alles Leben und die Traume selbst ein TraumKunsthalle Lingen, LingenGroup
2009He doesn't even have the good Robert Smithson book! (with Erin Weber and Yves Mettler)Bawag Contemporary, ViennaGroup
2008Fragmente der Geschichte fur Sie zur Wiederholung als PerformanceWestfalischer Kunstverein, MunsterSolo
2008Alexander WolffFederico Bianchi Contemporary Art, MilanSolo
2008Untitled, 6x2,2008Arthur-Boskamp-Stiftung, HohenlockstedtGroup
2008The Gentle Art of Collapsing the Expanded FieldCardenas Bellanger, ParisGroup
2008Groupshow – eine ReaktionJacky Strenz, FrankfurtGroup
2008ZuordnungsproblemeJohann Konig, BerlinGroup
2008Bass Diffusion ModelFieldgate Gallery, LondonGroup
2008UnknownListe 08 Basel, Galerie MezzaninGroup
2008Markus Muller – Sam Porritt – Alexander WolffCafe Gallery Project Bermondsey, LondonGroup
2008Freunde und BekannteSparwasser, Berlin Group
2007Alexander WolffGalerie Ben Kaufmann, BerlinSolo
2007Detournements de modeGalleria Laurin, ZurichSolo
2007My Exposure to this Exhibition is all by ChancetrudiLos AngelesSolo
2007Manuel Gorkiewicz and Alexander WolffGalerie Johann Widauer, Innsbruck Solo
2007UnknownRowley Kennerk Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2007The Four Colour ContingencyThe Approach, LondonGroup
2007Die Sammlung RauschPortikus, FrankfurtGroup
2007Introvert Extrovert Makes no DifferenceGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint-PaulGroup
2007No JerksRental Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007UltramoderneHall Paul Wurth, LuxembourgGroup
2007Lange TageGalerie Jan Wentrup, BerlinGroup
2007StyleintegrationglueBerlinfine art fair frankfurtArt, FrankfurtGroup
20072KunstbueroKunsthalle 8, ViennaGroup
2007Madame la baronne Vol. 3Centre d’art Mira Phalaina, Maison populaire, MontreuilGroup
2007Klartext BerlinKunstraum Niederosterreich, ViennaGroup
2007Fur die EwigkeitJet, BerlinGroup
2007Societe des nationsfactice er scindee en elle-memecircuit, LausanneGroup
2007Bild - skulpturGalerie Jette Rudolph, BerlinGroup
2007Paris – Berlin: Affinites…Galerie Jousse Entreprise, ParisGroup
2007After the ButcherBerlinGroup
2007The Common ReaderTriangle Project Space, San Antonio, TexasGroup
2007Madame la baronne pt. 1Centre d’art Mira Phalaina, Maison populaire, MontreuilGroup
2006Alexander WolffGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2006Alexander WolffGalerie Ben Kaufmann, MunichSolo
2006Alexander WolffSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles Solo
2005Alexander WolffGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2005Exhibition for An Art Lover, with Christian MayerThe Project Room, GlasgoSolo
2005Art Basel StatementsGalerie MezzaninSolo
2005Dekoration des Funktionalismus - Dekor der FunktionGalerie Johann Widauer, InnsbruckSolo
2005New TalentsArt CologneSolo
2005QuattroFlacaKunsthaus Langenthal, SwitzerlandGroup
2005UnknownWiensowski & Harbord, BerlinGroup
2005PerformanceFlaca Gallery, LondonGroup
2005The European Design ShowLondon Design Museum, LondonGroup
2005Qui viveNew Center for Contemporary Arts, MoscowGroup
2005Entdecken und BesitzenMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, ViennaGroup
2005Liquid CrystalLothringer 13, Stadtische Kunsthalle, MunichGroup
2005updateKunstlerhaus WienGroup
2005UnknownTRANSFORMERS, MunichGroup
2005UnknownAutocenter, BerlinGroup
2005panicRoomSchloss Ringenberg, GermanyGroup
2005Hyperstyleguestroom, loopRaum fur Gegenwartskunst, BerlinGroup
2005Universal OutstretchFlaca Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Heute hier... morgendortHalle Zeitgenossische Kunst, MunsterGroup
2005See you later, curator. or how to say hello to the fine line between high and lowLassie, ViennaGroup
2005Publish or be damnedCubitt, LondonGroup
2005Kontext, Form, TrojaSecession, ViennaGroup
2005The state of the upper floor panoramaKunstverein Munchen, Group
2005JahresgabenWestfalischer Kunstverein MunsterGroup
2005Vorfuhrung der AusstellungspraxisCafe am Park, ViennaGroup
2003Alexander WolffGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2003Liste 03 Basel, with Lisa LapinskiGalerie MezzaninSolo
2003Papier, Relief, PlastikAtelier Stef Burgard, DusseldorfSolo
2002doubleheartKunsthalle Exnergasse, ViennaGroup
2002UnknownGalerie Kerstin Engholm, ViennaGroup
2002rraum 02Frankfurt Mainfacing 02Group
2002UnknownGalerie der Stadt Wels, AustriaGroup
2002Diplomaten der StadelschuleHauptzollamt, Frankfurt MainGroup
2002I’ve never seen an exhibition like you beforeGalerie A.R.T. ATOM, ViennaGroup
2002AusflugRobert, Stolz Platz, ViennaGroup
2002Real Presencestudenski gradMay 25th Museum, BelgradeGroup
2002vasistdascuator Ayse Erkmen7th International Biennale Istanbul, TurkeyGroup
2002Realm of the SensesTurku, FinlandGroup
2000Ausstellung 4Galerie Goldankauf, MunichSolo