Art Brussels 2021

The Belgian National Security Council extended the measures to combat the coronavirus, including in its directives that no mass event could be organised until 31 August 2020. In this obvious case of force majeure, the 38th edition of Art Brussels is forced to postpone to 22-25 April 2021.

22 – 25 April 2021

Jan Wawrzyniak in dialogue with Erich Reusch
curated by Jan Wawrzyniak

Discovery section
Booth D.26
Tour & Taxis, Brussels

On the 38th edition of Art Brussels 2020 kajetan Berlin introduces the radical subtle and distinct position of the artist Jan Wawrzyniak (*1971 in Leipzig, GDR, lives in Berlin) to an international audience.

Wawrzyniak limits himself to a few preferred tools: slightly off-kilter, irregular formats, canvases primed mostly white, and charcoal, which together enable him to devise––in a series of tonally nuanced greys––partly nebulous yet always oddly precarious and indeterminate relationships between marked and unmarked space. Although his drawings are clearly defined, indeed, they are easily assimilated at first glance, they tend to defy any attempt to combine them into a meaningful whole, i.e. into a consistent form, nevertheless they still seem to relate to one another according to their own internal logic.

Jan Wawrzyniak draws pictures that fundamentally question our idea of ​​what a picture is. The remarkable essence to emerge from his recent works is neither a picture nor is it not a picture, but rather the picture’s inherent elusiveness, which is especially cogent: for Wawrzyniak, the picture is just enough a picture, though not quite picture enough to allow one to actually experience it as such.

In order to transfer the consistent inconsistency of his pictures into the booth presentation, Jan Wawrzyniak himself will curate a dialogue by contrasting his own pictures with a rare electrostatic object from the 1960s by the artist Erich Reusch (1925-2019).

While Reusch uses the black fine dust unbound and fluctuating, Wawrzyniak rubs it into the primed cotton and making it look like a low-key vulnerable dark film. And while Reuschs early object is conceptually interactive and participative by doing react to the movements of the observer and the room conditions, there is, as Robert Kudielka notes, no “sujet” in Wawrzyniaks heterarchical pictures, but a “motif”, or motive in the actual sense of the word: it sets the observer in motion. 

Unfortunately Erich Reusch can no longer experience this exhibition, which saddened us deeply. He died on December, 29, 2019 during the preparations of this presentation. With him, one of the most important pioneers of post-war art in West Germany has left us.