Aribert Von Ostrowski On SundayS
Photocopies of advertisements, newspaper pages and scientific illustrations have been a substantial part of Aribert von Ostrowski’s artistic material and medium since the late 1980s. They have often served as an iconographically associative background for his drawings or paintings, have covered sculptures, or were part of context-specific installations.
Often the “paintings” consists of original newspaper pages, which are each laminated on canvas and first edited with a felt-tip pen, then sent several times through a DIN A2 black-and-white copier. This process uses master illustrations as well as various cut-out copies of the originals. Thus, literally multi-layered paintings emerge whose production traces, similar to Wade Guyton’s inkjet paintings, constitute an essential component of the visual vocabulary.
Toner that runs out, creases in the newspaper paper or “grids” created by the edges of the copy;; deliberate technical “errors” that produce blurriness;; irregularities owed to the copying process – all these influence the aesthetics.
Despite the incorporation of these mechanical means, von Ostrowski’s works are never concerned with redefining or even questioning the concept of authorship as such. On the contrary, the interventions by pen present themselves explicitly as handwritten utterances.
The artist thus has blacked out certain sections – either in a decidedly geometric manner, for example when rectangles let entire blocks of text disappear, or in the spontaneous style of “abstract-expressionist” painting. However, the painterly effect only emerges when magnified: what in the original appears to be a lapidary “telephone doodle”, when enlarged suddenly materialises as an expressive brushstroke gesture.
Text from – Buss, Esther: Carried Away (Over the Railroad Tracks). In: Texte zur Kunst March 2011, vol. 21, issue 81.
Esther Buss on Aribert von Ostrowski at Gallery Christine Mayer, Munich.
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