Alexander Gorlizki: Call and Response (2015)


Alexander Gorlizki: Call and Response (2015) – 57,8 x 40,6 cm. Pigment und Gold auf Papier.

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Der Kunstkritiker Joost van den Bergh hat eine schöne Beschreibung des Werkes von Alex geliefert, welches über Martin Kudlek in Europa repräsentiert wird:

Alexander Gorlizki’s immersion in the world of Indian Miniature paintings over the past 15 years has yielded an eclectic body of work, often with startling results. Fascinated by the forms, sensibility and techniques of Mughal miniatures, Gorlizki has sought to incorporate his own visual language into the 600-year-old tradition with a subversive reverence.

In 1994 he established a studio in Jaipur’s old city with Riyaz Uddin, a master miniaturist painter. Having spent over a decade copying traditional miniature paintings for the local tourist market, Uddin had developed a mastery of the technique, rendering infinitesimal details with absolute precision.

Gorlizki conceptualizes and draws out the iconography, patterns, compositions and colour schemes onto antique or distressed papers and photographs. Uddin then applies jewel-coloured pigments and gold leaf with a single-hair-tipped brush to create works of breathtaking intricacy. Working side by side in the studio or shipping images back and forth between New York and Jaipur, the paintings evolve layer by layer, often over a period of years.

In that time the studio has developed into an atelier in which up to nine artists with different areas of expertise work on the paintings, often passing the work from hand to hand. Gorlizki believes that working in collaboration leads to a rich dialogue yielding unexpected results, while at the same time exposing the participants to a wealth of specialized skills and knowledge. The trans-global collaboration represents a cross-fertilization that is as valuable as the finished work of art. […]

Gorlizki draws on a diverse variety of sources. Elements from Victorian plumbing manuals are juxtaposed with ornithological studies and transposed onto film stills of Hollywood stars. Patterns from English knitting catalogues combine with Tantric cosmology. Austere minimalist forms are overlaid with rampant patterning on 150-year-old paper. Camels float in space and topiary sheep nibble topiary crucifixes.

The works can be sensually compelling and simultaneously awkward and unnerving. Whilst some paintings are embedded with irony and humour, others vacillate between the mythical and banal, the mysterious and the everyday. The results are idiosyncratic gems that shine and glow.

Joost van den Bergh

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