10.5.18 - 16.6.18
It is quite usual for Kirsten Mosel's work to be labeled "abstract", however, accusing a bit of intellectual rigor, it is necessary to explain what we mean when we use this word, what we say when we say "abstract". These comfortable labels provided by the history and theory of art tend to group an endless number of gestures, actions, styles and diverse aesthetic ideas in an unreflective way. In practice, the "abstract" in painting usually refers to all those works that are not "figurative", that is, that present a final visuality that does not mirror reality, that is not mimetic. However, I like the term because it necessarily refers to a process rather than a result, abstracting is nothing more than extracting a feature or quality from reality and separating it from its origin. It is a process in which reality is made to pass through a sieve so that what is left over, which distracts, decorates, hinders, is filtered and only the elements radically necessary for that thing to exist remain.
In this sense, Kirsten's work is abstract, her organic forms of pure colors that seem to refer to existing forms, devoid of clear identity features but always anchored in reality, are an unequivocal feature of the abstract, consolidated in the titles of his works: "Window", "Text", "Book", "Body" (1).
However, the idea of the abstract in Kirsten's work also encompasses her modus operandi, which is an exercise in abstraction from the act of painting itself. His pictorial practice has been passed through a sieve and filtered, decanting it and extracting its essential parts from it, finding the fundamental elements of painting in color and surface.
This Argentine Suite is in itself an abstraction, which functions as the end of a profound pictorial investigation whose beginning is directly related to Kirsten's arrival in Buenos Aires eight years ago. The carefully chosen title has a double reference. On the one hand, suite, in music, is a composition formed by several disparate instrumental pieces with some element of unity between them, on the other hand suite, is also a set of two or more rooms, communicating with each other, that form a drive in a hotel. The two meanings of the word are based on the idea of continuity. This exhibition works in an analog way: a set of dissimilar pieces that share an origin and shape that connects them with each other and that play with the classic idea of painting where the traditional white canvas is replaced by several layers of colored industrial canvas. This allows Kirsten to compose chromatically, to paint if you prefer, by subtracting and not adding material, an operation that she calls cutout, her distinctive gesture, a kind of registered trademark with which she has produced all her work ever since. he abandoned the traditional tools of the painter several years ago.
On this occasion, Kirsten has arranged a series of intervened photographs that accompany the great cutouts. In these images, we find entire cut-out shapes that allow us to see only the emptiness of an object that we cannot fully recognize. An operation with which Kirsten undresses the photograph itself as a mimetic artifice but also that is presented as a wink in which we are allowed to glimpse something of her kitchen, a part of her abstraction process that normally remains invisible to the viewer. .
All the pieces that make up this Suite are traversed by a kind of family resemblance where abstraction is constituted as an unequivocal origin, always remaining on the edge between figuration and pure concrete form in constant tension.
Julian Leon Camargo
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(1) Often when Kirsten talks about her works, she stands in front of them and while explaining the production process she imitates their shape with her body; she shrugs her shoulders, spreads her arms, puts her legs together, bows her head, bends her knees, and contorts her body according to the pieces of canvas cut behind her. There is a direct relationship between the organic forms of these works and his own body, a body crossed by different experiences in these Argentine years. Affections, pains, joys, diseases, etc. An attentive, affectionate eye will not miss these features in his work.