Ice-Ice Baby: Hans-Jörg Mayer

12 February - 2 April 2011

“Hans-Jörg Mayer and I had a psychedelic band together a while ago. We called ourselves „Die Schlüssel“ ... How did the name came up? ... Well, there were The Doors, so we thought “The Keys” would be a real good choice.” Gabi Dziuba.

Hans-Jörg Mayer grew up with TV shows like The Avengers and the first art book that he came across in the 60s was Lucy Lippard’s “POP ART”. In the times of young neo expressionism of the 80s, Mayer consequently followed a more conceptual, emblematic direction represented by his first language paintings.

Even if some of his new paintings shown at the Union Gallery on one level seem to clearly be inspired by Lars von Triers, movie Antichrist, this seems to be more about the ANTI, as Mayer’s personal working interest, than about the particular splatter aesthetics of the movie. Again he also turns to language paintings. GAGA as compared to the older language works, gained a layer of trash, spray paint, random graffiti.

It therefore might sound like an unforeseen, but worthwhile conclusion that Mayer’s work is not about any of this. Or rather: it only regards the surface of all of this. The surface of figurative painting, the surface of pop, the surface of abstraction, the surface of text, trash, graffiti... the surface one could say, of recent art history. Hans-Jörg Mayer is a post-avantgarde artist. He deals with art‘s history central means of production: the canvas.

Hans-Jörg Mayer was born in Singen, Germany. He lives in Berlin.


- text by Saskia Draxler