Curated by Fabian Schöneich
20 Nov – 23 Jan 2011

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Opening: 20 November 2010, 5pm till late

Finally! The first collaborative exhibition of Matthew Smith and Yonatan Vinitsky. Both artists have known each other‘s works for quite some time. Through their resulting friendship, a mutual respect and dialogue has arisen out each other‘s work. This has grown to the degree where their works are greatly elaborated upon in the context of exhibiting the works themselves. How to display or position the works at an exhibition space becomes a central question. Although their work nor their practice would necessarily be thought of as similar, the parallels of their interest crystallizes in this ongoing dialogue and forthcoming exhibition.
Looking at each other’s exhibitions they found a common not nameable interest. The conceptual structures as well as the used materials or simply their way of working was not of interest, but the depth of approaching a show seemed to reveal a very certain relation. There seems to be an undefinable outside point of view where the works can be placed or seemingly be traced back to. A certain feeling or a glimpse of ‘Zeitgeist’ that inform both the visual appearance and the rigorous materiality of the works.
While Vinitsky escapes and simultaenously reinforces the clichés of painting, by using industrial paint presenting it on plastic instead of canvas – Smith is working against any narrative structures. One could name it a conceptual minimalism where not the object but rather the objective of the practice is pointing toward zero. Towards a gap where history and narratives are being lost, and left behind.
The materials used or the structures of working of both are far apart, but still in both practices there is a very strict set of rules. Smith works with common utensils such as being used in a kitchen in order to produce paintings of simple iconic character. The daily surroundings become the utensils and setting the rules of making art. A rolled up duvet shifts in between the cliché readymade and a consciously minimal
crafted sculpture until both references have lost their meaning and importance. A line of beauty and grace forms the outline of a duck. It‘s funny but we‘ll never really know why.
Vinitsky‘s strict set of rules are hermetic and personal, of course informed by an environment of art history, sociological phenomena and thoughts that surround an artist’s practice today. The way of creating these rules and applying them makes them seem irrelevant. He uses seven specific colours, each matched to specific colours he has encountered in public spaces in various cities, even documenting
the places and then systematically displaying or applying the constructed colour-system. Thus creating works that abandon themselves from a system of rules and general knowledge that we thought were understandable. The paint on clear foil visible from both sides still references abstract or constructivist painting, but can also be looked at as only paint hanging on the wall. The paint becomes its own hermetic surface.
However these works can be analyzed and talked about, they point towards a discourse that is gaining in importance.

Photography: courtesy Anna Leuenberger