Solo To be Titled Jonathan Viner Gallery London England 2013
The academic endeavour in art history tends to categorise the styles and purposes of artistic representations, leaving little room for those artists whose practice moves along various definitions. It is in this line of the spectrum that the Mexican artist Stefan Brüggemann presents a body of new works in the solo exhibitions To Be Titled.
Brüggemann´s oeuvre is rooted in post-conceptual practices that combine media independence—characteristic of the art of the late 60s and early 70s— with market-oriented formalities and a bitter response towards the categorization of aesthetic values. Embedded in the application of philosophical concepts (mainly grounded on post-structuralism and deconstructionism), his work acknowledges a range of concerns that emphasize the role of ideas and meaning through text and visual arrays. The exhibition's text pieces THIS WORK IS REALIZED WHEN IT IS DESTROYED and THIS WORK IS REALIZED WHEN I DIE, are exemplary of the close relationship Brüggemann's practice keeps with counter-cultural tendencies and international cultural representations.
In a recent shift, a new series of medium-size canvases depart from the more traditional conceptual practice and dive into an ambiguous yet seductive realm. Distinguishing elements of previous work, such as the use of handwritten words, are combined with the raw application of heavy aluminium paint, referencing abstract expressionism and automatism. Only small bits of the text remain visible while the elements of the rough monochromatic painting are undisguised.
While Brüggemann's previous work directly challenged the definition of artistic practices as a visual object, this series takes advantage of spatial experience and pleasure. The canvases are more structural in their abstract logic: their emphases do not rely only on the surface, but on the subordination of their parts as a whole.
To Be Titled requires the viewer to move easily between reading and looking. The text works that refer to the ephemeral passage of time and a claim for the future, the paintings transmit a feeling of stagnation, demonstrating the various contradictions regarding the use of time in our contemporary society. The exhibition vacillates between conceptual and perceptual logics, challenging the definition of the artistic work as a visual object and more broadly as a spatial experience.
Alberto Ríos de la Rosa