Jens Wolf at Ronchini Gallery
Berlin-based artist Jens Wolf has brought his first UK solo exhibition to the Ronchini Gallery, showcasing his unique geometric paintings. Born 1967 in Heilbronn, Germany, he graduated in 2001 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe under Helmut Dorner and Luc Tuymans. Since then, Wolf’s exhibitions have been prolific: 12 prominent installations culminated at Munich’s Galerie MaxWeberSixFriedrich in 2013.
Ronchini Gallery is a terrific venue for Wolf’s work. With his minimalistic approach, the simple whitewash walls and one-tone lighting entices the viewer to perceive nothing but the art. Upon first walking through the door, the eye is naturally drawn to the black, kaleidoscope-patterned work on the right-hand side, a finely crafted block colour on a plywood base. Perfectly drawn circles combined with meticulously measured squares and lines. At first glance, the guide for these geometric designs appear to be drawn by pencil, but in credit to Wolf’s demand for perfection, he has carved ever-so-slightly into the plywood.
An issue with any geometric painting is that the symmetry can become robotic, but Wolf, brilliantly, leaves certain imperfections in his works to inject a facet of humanisation in every piece. Where a machine would ensure all gaps are filled perfectly, the lack of robustly-finished edges is a reminder that this is the work of someone living and breathing.
Moving from the monochrome, Wolf ramps up a level of unnatural colour with luminous greens and oranges. In context, these colours are startling, blaring out from the white walls with an unapologetic, “I’M HERE, LOOK AT ME!” This colour is the heartbeat of what makes the work human. The desire in all of us for some attention in our lives, large or small.
Wolf’s exhibit comes to a crescendo at the on-the-wall installation, tucked away in an alcove at the back of the gallery. For this he uses large strips of navy rippon, placed alongside a shimmering metallic silver. The distressed rawness of the work is echoed here with frayed, hand cut edges on the ribbon and slight knicks in the silver leafing, exposing the white wall behind.
Jens Wolf is at Ronchini Gallery from until 16th March 2015, for further information visit here.