Timothy Taylor Gallery is proud to present the second solo show in London by Berlin-based artist, Volker Hüller.

In this exhibition, the first by the artist dedicated exclusively to his paintings, Hüller has moved further from figuration towards the abstract – shifting panels of various materials are collaged together into disjointed, textured, densely layered webs. Sinuous lines arch over the canvases and abruptly rebound, seemingly indecipherable. These large-scale works are the distillation of Hüller’s exploration of collage where line plays a fundamental role. Created from lengths of material, oil paint and pencil, they demarcate the canvases and play with the paintings’ supposed authority. The smudges of under-drawings and the detritus from the studio are enmeshed in their painted surfaces revealing a process of continuous editing and revision. These ‘failures’ are neither hidden nor fetishized – they exist as relics of the process.

These works not only present a history of painting but also the history of their own creation. As Daniel Kunitz, editor of Modern Painters noted, Hüller is, ‘an artist in whose work the weight of the world is constantly felt.’ Reworking and reordering is left exposed – the canvases are pockmarked and scarred where alterations have been made. A silver work, Feldmannʼs, is composed of strips of various materials, applied to the canvas with stitches, glue and staples to form a loose, layered grid structure. The repeated vertical striped pattern faintly shimmers on the metallic ground. A fine line darts over the surface in a puzzling trajectory – perhaps describing some hidden form but remaining determinedly enigmatic. This abstract reading is unbalanced by the discovery of several finely scored lines, which describe bottles sitting on the seams in the canvas. This hint at the figurative suggests an inhabitable scene – albeit fractured and pared-down – and is a recurring element in these richly evocative works.

The canvases flirt with the weighty appearance of heroic Modernist painting but are repeatedly undermined by a perverse friction. In Falscher Fünfziger, a liminal human presence, outstretched arms holding a glass and the suggestion of two reclining torsos, is hidden within a maelstrom of curves and patchwork panels, punctured by holes.

Roberta Smith writing in the New York Times, observed that, ‘the textured surfaces are highly reactive, changing as the light shifts, or as you move about. These works pile on the references — Yves Klein, Manzoni, Marca-Relli, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and even Julian Schnabel — but carry the weight.’

Volker Hüller was born in 1976 in Forchheim, Germany and currently lives and works in Berlin. He studied under painter Professor Norbert Schwontkowski at the Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg and was recently in residence at Steep Rock Arts in Connecticut, USA (2012). Hüller’s work has previously been featured at Timothy Taylor Gallery in a solo exhibition in 2010 and two group exhibitions in 2007 and 2009, both curated by Emma Dexter. He has had solo shows at Produzentegalerie, Hamburg (2009, 2012); Eleven Rivington, New York (2009, with Salon 94; 2011, and 2013); Grimm Fine Art, Amsterdam (2009, 2011); and group shows - Gesamtkunstwerk, New Art from Germany, Saatchi Gallery, London (2011); and the Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg (2010). A monograph co-published by Timothy Taylor Gallery, Eleven Rivington, Grimm Fine Art and Produzentengalerie in 2012 features texts by Margrit Brehm and Daniel Kunitz.

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