Jochen Mühlenbrink: Window Fainting Solo Show

Cuturi Gallery is delighted to present Window Fainting, a debut solo exhibition in Asia by German artist Jochen Mühlenbrink (b.1980, Germany). Following a four-week residency in Singapore in the upper floors of the gallery, Mühlenbrink presents new paintings which further expand on his painting style of concealing and revealing subject matters which leave the audience in a constant state of questioning.


Mühlenbrink’s passion for painting started at a young age. He was always surrounded by artists, as his grandfather worked in the artworld. He studied Fine Art at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and graduated as a master student of German artist, Markus Lüpertz. Mühlenbrink’s early works focused on skylines, landscapes, and interiors. In these paintings Mühlenbrink uses strong contrasts between light and dark, inspired by the old Dutch masters and their use of chiaroscuro.


2011 marked a turning point for Mühlenbrink. After back-to-back successful exhibitions he questioned what he thought was perceived as a good painting.


“I looked back at my earlier works which referenced classics from art history, and I started to question my own approach to painting. What makes a good painting today? How radical can I be without giving up the painting principles that formed me? What pre-conceptions do we have in the artworld towards how we appreciate art?”


“One day I was in my studio and flipped over one of my paintings. The back of the painting was facing me for a few days. I decided to use it as my subject.”


The first time these paintings were exhibited were in 2011 in Amsterdam. The exhibition titled, ROHSTOFF, which translates to ‘raw materials’ in English, were a series of works where only the back of paintings were realistically painted with rays of light traversing them.


As you enter the main room of the Cuturi Gallery, Mühlenbrink presents us with an installation work. What is the audience looking at? Multiple packed paintings that are wrapped and ready to be shipped out of the gallery? The Wrapping and Tape series are one of the most emblematic series of the artist. These two materials are the most basic form of protection for an artwork, they now become under Mühlenbrink’s eye, the main subject of his works.


“We consider tape and wrapping paper as disposable, so if I paint them, how would my artwork then be perceived? What if instead I allow the viewer to peek through the wrapping paper and let them see what seems to be the covered artwork?” Mühlenbrink’ s painting process is one of alchemy, in which the ordinary is turned into extraordinary.


The Window series was born out of this questioning, “Fogged windows that are hiding an image behind. If the gesture of a finger reveals what’s in the background. Even if it’s just a glimpse. Is the brain then capable of deciding what they are seeing as real?”


Mühlenbrink challenges the status quo by questioning what is relevant in painting. He attracts his audience and asks them to look at his painting beyond what is visual. In a way, by challenging the codes of painting and art history, Mühlenbrink challenges the codes of society.


Mühlenbrink’s works has since been featured in several international exhibitions, including Kunstmuseum Solingen, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Morat-Institut Freiburg, Osthaus Museum Hagen, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen and Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam.


His works can be viewed in various private and public collections in Europe and internationally, among others in Museum X, Beijing, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig, Stadtmuseum Oldenburg, Deutsche Bundesbank, NATIONAL-BANK and Collectie DE.GROEN, Arnhem.


Window Fainting will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 14th May to 12th June 2022.

Cuturi Gallery
61 Aliwal Street Singapore 199937
+65 6980 3069

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Tuesday to Saturday: 12 noon – 7 pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays