It seems as if the artist Paul Czerlitzki carefully tinted the walls with black chalk – a two-metre-high monochrome frieze runs around the walls of Johann König’s austere gallery space for Czerlitzki’s new show ANNA (on view until Feb 21st). Actually, the restrained yet striking work was created by applying black acrylic paint through canvas onto the walls, the results being depictions of the canvas structure with only a contingent influence by the artist.
While this elegant work is the centre of the exhibition, something else attracted my attention upon entering the space – not the six equally monochrome and vertically framed pieces, but the distinct acrylic smell occupying the halls on the day of the opening and serving as a reminder of and connection to the preceding performative creation process.
In addition, large-scale canvas works emerge on top of the wall work – they were created by the black acrylic dust spread around the room which then settled on white-primed canvasses. It’s not difficult to see the connection to Czerlitzki’s teacher Katharina Grosse.
It’s difficult to describe the allure of such seemingly minimal works – the elegance of their simplicity and close connection to a radically simple painting process by material (especially the fumes) may only serve as vague cue on where the appeal of this work lies. But it’s there.