Critics’ Picks

Otto Zitko, Untitled, 2015, oil on cardboard, 70 x 55".


Otto Zitko

Krobath | Berlin
Marienstraße 10
May 2–June 20

Otto Zitko’s artistic project has been very consistent: He paints lines and he doesn’t need anything else. In this way, his art is a kind of asemic writing. Usually his works are done on walls in interiors, occasionally permanent but often only temporary, which induces a kind of melancholy when one realizes that after the exhibition ends they will be painted over by a dull and oppressive white. But while it lasts, the scene is wild snakes dancing and going mad in an ecstatic orgy, with colors oh so bright.

Here, Zitko offers ten canvases, which are all actually cardboard, dated 2015, and untitled. A good line doesn’t need a title and this artist’s lines are more than just good; their lawless swirls evoke a symphonic percussion you can dance to. The four rendered in black stand out the most. The six others are silver and seem a bit hasty in their spray-painted execution. Silver is just not quite as sexy as black on a white surface, though one of the drippier metallic ones manages to be. To see Zitko’s lines contained in rectangles is surprising—usually they are crazily scrawled all over, though I guess one can’t always make money that way. His marks hardly ever have definitive start and end points. Or, you could say their start and end points are the same, which is to say there are no beginnings and no endings—infinity contained.