The title of the Clemens Wolf’s exhibition at Backslash Gallery, The Other Side of the Rainbow, perfectly describes the very essence of the artist’s work. People can only have certain notions about what is behind something that appears to be visible only from one side. It’s quite similar with Wolf’s art, particularly with his painting. They look like war, but none of them is actually affected by war. His sculptures also represent ruins that seem to be a reference to abandoned industrial zones of big cities, yet they are not. The main concept of Wolf’s works is the question of distance between the subject and the viewer, and the possibilities of viewer’s perceptions. The latest work by this extraordinary artist will be shown at Backslash Gallery.
Clemens Wolf is a young Austrian artist, whose works take on different forms, encompassing paintings, installations and sculptures. All of them share the same powerful notion of monumentality combined with an in-depth reflection on perspective. Wolf is fascinated by ruins and building sites, as well as the concept of the boundary, and in his works he creates an optical distance between viewer and subject. Although his artistic roots are connected with street art, Clemens Wolf usually does paintings and sculptures. However, he admits that painting is his favorite medium. His visual works are based on stencils. The artist produces different sized stencils, some of them huge, and then applies pigmented materials such as oil paint to the media he uses for his work, from canvas to paper. The different layers of colors applied one after the other at times produce an ethereal effect, as in a dream or a distant memory. His paintings are quite demanding, since the viewers are expected to discover every tiny detail in the shapes and colors. The works by Clemens Wolf are always bordering with abstraction, while the powerful expression can be noticed by careful observation of compositions.
The pieces created for the exhibition at Backslash Gallery are dealing with the questions that are central to Wolf’s art in general. These questions include themes such as ruins and building sites, and particularly frontiers or fences. The artist's favorite theme is the boundary. The exhibition's name, The Other Side of the Rainbow, refers clearly to this theme, evoking those things we would like to see but cannot physically attain. The work as a whole thus remains centered on the abstract. The title also creates a contrast between the bright colors of the rainbow and the colors on the other side, which could well be darker and imperceptible. The pieces at the exhibition invite the viewer on a journey through the final stages of Wolf's explorations, including his use of resin and cardboard. No matter medium the artist used, he is exploring the universal questions such as the perception of non-visible things that are on the other side of a visible object.
This is the first Clemens Wolf’s solo exhibition in France. The show will include the latest pieces by this amazing Vienna-based artist. Entitled The Other Side of the Rainbow, the show will be on view from April 9th, until May 30th at Backslash Gallery.
Widewalls conducted an interview with Clemens Wolf. You can check it out here.
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Featured Image: Clemens Wolf - Untitled (detail), 2013. Steel, Variable dimensions
All Images courtesy of the artist, Backlash Gallery (Paris)