Sebastian Gladstone is pleased to present "Common Fish" the first US solo exhibition of the Vienna, Austria-based artist Katharina Höglinger. The exhibition will open on Saturday, February 19 with an opening reception from 7-10pm, and run through Saturday, March 19. Höglinger’s paintings are concerned with an immediate viewing experience and relation to a painting that reflects the urgency with which she paints down her ideas. Many of the works are biographical in a sense, but also touch the world of fantasy, the everyday, and the unknown–as she works, new worlds, compositions, and ideas are revealed.
Through a process of layering imagery, Höglinger wraps and unwraps puzzles within her paintings. This is achieved in part by working on multiple paintings at once, and actively bounding from one to the next, back and forth. The rhythm that is achieved through this approach creates through-lines within and between the paintings; when viewed together it seems as if the characters within jump from one to the next. Conceptually, the paintings are unique and spectacular in their pluralistic approach to color and form. Höglinger forges a delicate balance between order and chaos as each mode confronts the other, vying for charge of the composition.
A further examination of the surface of Höglinger’s paintings shows a varied use of materials from markers, oil paints, pigments, pencils, brushes, knives, and anything else that comes in hand to bring the desired result. The surface itself moves between a high-end Belgian linen and the back of a cardboard box. In “Common Fish,” a fish is well-rendered on a ripped piece of board no bigger than a small laptop. Within the frame the work is highly evocative of a fish wrapped in the market, poking a little fun at the seriousness and preciousness of painting itself.
To speak about Höglinger’s work without the reference of the Vienna Secessionists is to remove a key influence on the language of her paintings. The rich hues, swirling through figures and landscapes, are quietly reminiscent of masters such as Gustav Klimt, Mela Koehler and Egon Schiele. The fantastical way the lines of the figures swing and swim through the paintings can be likened to Schiele and Koehler’s rendering, while the bright patchwork of colors and textures brings to mind the textiles, robes, and scenes within Klimt’s signature works. Höglinger’s paintings carry on the Viennese tradition of a decorative yet personal styling of painting that is timeless and familiar.
Many thanks to The Austrian Consulate for the support of the exhibition.