Vincent Wenzel at Grosvenor Gallery
GROSVENOR Gallery is presenting thirty-year-old artist Vincent Wenzel’s first London solo show. Entitled A Whip and a Biscuit, it will be on display from November 3 to November 30, 2009.
Wenzel’s paintings are like movie scripts. The figures portrayed in these large representational works hold, in their awkward gestures, the promise of plot, of future interaction. A dynamic array of characters, faces, dramatic situations, death, promise and fairtytale are all fused together within their environment.
Upon first glance, the viewer is initially displaced, yet drawn in by what he sees; and although initially difficult to relate to, there is something which stands out, a spark of some kind, which within the chaotic world of the painting, leaves you with an element of serenity.
At the heart of the exhibition is the large dyptich entitled Freak Frieze (Freakfries). Within the fantastical, almost circus-like arena, is a robbery, a pillow fight, ninja warriors, mythological figurines taking flight, blood, violence and men waging war.
The painting’s surface is crowded with characters, but what is surprising is that there is no dialogue between distinct groups.The panoramic sea of characters, all merged together, crash through each others space and yet ignore each other completely. It’s as if they exist in parralel realities, which have been overlaid and compressed onto the canvas.
There is an intangible reality in the fairytale-like world of Freak Frieze, one which though inaccessible at first, lures you in and grabs you, so that the complexity which initially caused unease now somehow in some way, starts to make sense.
Another work, Sommernachstraum, presents a dynamic portrayal of elements yet again. Traces from Wenzel’s own world come alight in this work, as he creates his own fictional version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adding his very own contemporary twist: defining himself clearly as a post-war artist – an artist of this generation.
Wenzel describes himself as a passionate realist. The dream-like world he presents to us is perhaps not as far from our own realities as we first imagined them to be. He reveals the grotesque strangeness of our everyday actions by portraying them through the lens of mythology.
Wenzel lives and works in Berlin. He has recently shown in Art Basel and Galerie Brusberg.
Times: Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm; Saturday by appointment only.
Grosvenor Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6PX
Tel: 020 7484 7979