The current works of Bernhard Buhmann, Monika Grabuschnigg, Amir Khojasteh, Philip Mueller, Sara Rahbar and Anahita Razmi, all core artists of the gallery, transform and subvert the outward appearance of the figure through diverse psychosomatic interpretations. Each represent the body through the vehicle of the psyche’s chaos: Buhmann’s abstractions hint at limbs; Cyber-love roots Grabuschnigg’s undulating forms; ominous bloated visages dictate Khojasteh’s portraits; Mueller’s floating busts feature prison-esque pop-symbol markings; and Razmi’s own body confronts stereotypes and word play. Visceral and ambiguous, they mirror the cloudy complexity of the mind’s negotiation of fantasy and real-life narratives, the imagined self versus the real one. Though weighted existential propositions to wrangle, each tackle it with cheek and vulnerability, creating visual languages read by the mind but interpreted by the eye.
Buhmann’s paintings integrate sociological canons, oscillating between abstraction and imagined figuration. Centralised around notions of The Spectacle, the chromatically rich compositions recall historical tradition and the contemporary condition to question identity construction.
Berlin based Grabuschnigg considers the meanings and relationships between identity and connoted consumerist objects. Re-contextualised and analysed to reveal the subversion of banality into fetishism, Grabuschnigg’s drawings and sculptures explore the fragile vulnerability of today’s disembodied intimacy.
Khojasteh manipulates figuration with fleshy expressionism and fear. Representing notorious international icons to comment on the socio-political conditions within the Middle East and Iran, emerging Iranian artist Khojasteh embraces fantasy, dark humour and personal experience to produce evocative portraits.
Mueller destabilises portraiture by incorporating contemporary symbolism, imagined narratives, and a painterly formalist integrity, while paying homage to tradition. Dense and cacophonous, Mueller’s playfulness is layered with historical references resonating with contemporary mindsets.
German-Iranian Razmi’s US premier sees her video, performance and photographic practice addressing identity and gender. Subverting ideals through national, cultural and artistic appropriation, she fuses pop-culture and Iranian contexts in subtle, tongue-in-cheek critiques of lost-in-translation multiculturalism.
New York native-Iranian born Rahbar’s sculptural works, two sculptures from the Confessions series, and the brilliantly assembled We Reap what We Sow from the 206-Bones series, a true homage to figurative sculpture, represents a direct jab through her directness and formalisation of physical and emotional pain despite the classical use of Bronze.