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22 'NEW POSITIONS' at ART COLOGNE

Sponsorship programme showcases young artists * Strong sculptural focus * 'AUDI Art Award for NEW POSITIONS' presentation ceremony

ART COLOGNE's sponsorship programme titled 'NEW POSITIONS' was launched in 1980 by the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler. The programme gives young artists free exhibition spaces. These spaces are specially set up next to the stands of the galleries representing the young artists. This year's selection panel has singled out twenty-two young artists. The programme is supported by the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Koelnmesse and the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler. There will be a special prize - the 'AUDI Art Award for NEW POSITIONS' - for the best young artist. The prizewinner will be given a solo show at the Cologne artothek. The prize also includes the publication of a catalogue. Funding is to the value of EUR 10,000. The award ceremony is scheduled for 2.30 pm on Friday, 19 April 2013. Venue: ART COLOGNE, Hall 11.3. The Fair runs from 19 to 22 April 2013.

A strikingly large number of this year's young artists produce room-sized sculptural work in which they draw on found objects and materials from everyday life. There is a noticeable trend towards hybrid and interdisciplinary work.

Bo Christian Larsson (Bo Bjergaard, Copenhagen) produces works in a variety of media - sculpture, painting, performance and installation. In his paintings and labyrinthine room installations he entices the viewer into a mysterious, mystical environment filled with symbols and references. His works play with the relationships between realities and appearances, between the conscious and the unconscious. He uses a diversity of materials and objects to construct threatening mental landscapes that are almost physically palpable. Watercolour is the preferred medium of Jonas Lipps (Ben Brown Fine Arts, London/Hong Kong). He works on different, often unusual types of paper - for example on leaflets advertising removal companies - producing snapshot-like series of images, usually in very small formats. Many of his images draw on photographs and flashes recalled from memory. Some have a narrative character while others have a transient, fragmentary quality. Subjects touch on, or seem to touch on, almost every artistic genre - particularly landscape, portraiture and still life. His watercolours straddle the line between caricatures, naïve children's drawings and sketchbook studies. In his painted oeuvre, Matthieu Ronsse (Luis Campaña, Berlin) began with a focus on old-masterly portraits but has also produced nudes, interiors and still lifes. He uses a variety of artistic media - pure pigments, ready-made paints, industrial paints, dust and ash - to rework, adapt and inject new content into his painted, sculptural and installational oeuvre. He works with extraordinary gestural freedom and inventiveness, often to the point of total over-painting. Dylan Bailey (David Nolan, New York) sprays his sheets with a myriad of numerals in enamel paint that flash across the surface like cosmic objects.

The work of Erika Hock (Cosar HMT, Düsseldorf) is located at the interface of sculpture and architecture. Her objects, often playfully designed, can be read as examples of micro-architecture anticipating structures yet unbuilt. In her installations she employs a wide variety of materials; many of her works can be seen both as 'hommages' or aesthetic interpretations and as caricatures. Kai Schiemenz (EIGEN+ART, Berlin/Leipzig) produces visionary sculptural constructs with shifting identities - now sculptures, now models, now architectural objects. Many of them recall miniaturized stadiums, arenas and observation towers. His sculptures function both as sculptures in themselves and as pavilion-like architectural structures, demonstrating how architecture influences social behaviour where architecture is both the stage and the main actor. Many of Schiemenz's large-scale models are made of plywood and roofing timber. They are clearly contemporary works, despite their strong historical connotations. Sculptor Mirko Tschauner (Jahn, Munich) employs materials used in urban development like asphalt, cement, steel, marble and terrazzo to produce simple forms whose weight is played down by their seemingly casual, random positioning. Tschauner exploits the analogy between buildings and the intrinsic characteristics of the materials used, in order to define urban realities and existing social conditions.

Charlotte Mumm (Tanit, Munich/Beirut) produces highly imaginative autonomous sculptural objects and figures. The materials she uses include fabric, elastic bands, silicon, expanding foam and epoxy resin. Rich in art-historical references, her sculptures are frequently inspired by visual experiences made travelling as a first-time visitor.
Kevin Harman (Ingleby, Edinburgh) works with found objects, trivial materials and detritus to produce poetically enigmatic and playfully provocative installations and sculptural objects. Multi-talented Valentin Ruhry (Christine König, Vienna) shares this playful approach. Artist, engineer and DIY man, he can conjure up a UFO from an inner tube, a light bulb and a stretch of wire; or create a single pulsating light strip out of dozens of single power strips and a dimmer. He is a new-style object artist with the subtlety, wit and ingenuity to fashion something new out of trivial everyday objects. Daniel dos Santos (Nagel Draxler, Cologne/Berlin) creates sculptures that are something of a balancing act between ready-mades and post-minimalism. He produces them in a variety of materials, from found objects to what at first glance seem to be random items gathered from artists' supplies shops or building material centres. Justin Matherley (Johann König, Berlin) produces sculptures diametrically opposed to the precepts of conventional monumental sculpture. Rejecting the traditional, high-quality materials of the sculptor, such as bronze and marble, he uses concrete and metal. Many of his large-cast sculptures feature crutches and Zimmer frames, and often represent contorted, mutilated or seemingly amputated bodies that contrast sharply with the classical dimensions of antique statuary.

The Russian-British artist Yelena Popova (Figge von Rosen, Cologne) produces paintings, films, videos and graphic work. She combines these media to explore a diversity of themes. One example is the radioactive contamination of her home town in the Urals which was hushed up. She alters images of birds taken from an ornithological handbook by adding elements of physical deformation and mutation. The forceful intensity of the performances and unconventional large-scale installations staged by Schirin Kretschmann (Jochen Hempel, Leipzig) in galleries and public spaces surprise and arrest. In many of her installations ordinary everyday materials become atmospherically charged and visually enhanced by her form-dissolving use of colour and light. A video projected onto a huge structure made of ice blocks transforms it into a light sculpture - slowly melting. Polish artist Patrycja German (Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck) will be providing a visitor attraction with a showing of her on-going interactive performance series titled 'Kartenlegen' [card reading]. She will be offering tarot card readings for interested fairgoers at a modest fee. At the end of the performance photographs are made of the setting: a table, two chairs and a lamp - rather like a crime scene.

In his installations and videos Bill Balaskas (Kalfayan, Athens/Thessaloniki) uses subversive irony to examine the global economic crisis and the capitalist system. His works are laced with references to current events in his homeland of Greece. Laurence Kavanagh (Marlborough Contemporary, London/NewYork) is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation and collage. His primary motifs draw on literature and film, expanding and reconfiguring found imagery in other visual media. Zbynek Baladrán (Jocelyn Wolff, Paris) produces videos, video installations and projections that investigate complex questions of perception, perceptual representation and hierarchies.

In her photoworks and installations Tina Hage (Thomas Rehbein, Cologne) de-contextualizes current political events and social phenomena. She is particularly interested in the relationship between crowd and individual. The images of New York-based artist Talia Chetrit (Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf) have an intriguing ambiguity. Her photographic still-life studies and self-portraits have something of the compositional stringency of the early 20th-century avant-garde but display a highly individual modern aesthetic. Her work explores how far basic concepts in sculpture and painting can be widened with the resources of photography. She uses unconventional methods, for example Photoshop and scanner as well as traditional darkroom procedures. Anna Vogel (CONRADS, Düsseldorf) is a photographer who combines autobiographical flashes with abstract elements. She pastes fragments of found materials onto images - sometimes over-painting them and by cropping, reconfiguring and blocking them redefines and blurs meanings in an ingeniously cryptic, sometimes playful, way. The viewer is invited to freely associate with her surreal pictorial narratives. The Californian photographer Owen Gump (BQ, Berlin) draws on classic American landscape photography. He explores traces of human modifications to the landscape, evident for example in islands off Iceland. His recent series of colour prints titled 'Nukuheva' is full of insights into the workings of a studio where surfboards are designed and assembled. He has made a sculpture in the form of a surfboard as a spatial extension of the photo series.

Please note: new dates

47th ART COLOGNE 2013
Open to the public: 19 to 22 April 2013

AXA ART Professional Preview and Vernissage
Thursday, 18 April 2013

Note to press users:Images of ART COLOGNE can be accessed in the Press section of the ART COLOGNE website (www.artcologne.com). Select 'Press', 'Image Database' and 'Art Cologne'.

ART COLOGNE on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Art-Cologne/179050562113383

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