Critics’ Picks

Paolo Chiasera, Frankenstein 18 BSDM, 2017, painting and monoprinting on plaster on canvas, 71 x 75".


Paolo Chiasera

Schöneberger Ufer 61
April 29–June 17, 2017

With his solo exhibition opening during Berlin’s annual Gallery Weekend, Paolo Chiasera preempted the hazy state of mind that bustling art consumers might experience after such an event. The artist plays Dr. Frankenstein and creates uncanny chimeras, each composed of two to five fragments taken from works in various mediums by the fifty-four artists whose shows also opened as part of the official weekend programming. In Chiasera’s resulting paintings, some references remain legible while others are dominated and blurred by juxtapositions. The distorted face in Frankenstein 18 BSDM (all works 2017) bears features of the Belgian comic character Lucky Luke and Pinocchio after fusing together works by !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Katja Strunz, Edith Dekyndt, and Michel Majerus. A subtle piece by Bernd Lohaus seems to be tattooed onto a portrait by Roni Horn for Frankenstein 3 HL, the initials standing for the artists’ last names. But not all works are figurative—behind one of Rebecca Morris’s signature grid structures in Frankenstein 12 MK, a pale-blue Robert Kuśmirowski installation is almost completely obscured.

Collapsing oeuvres and techniques, each hybrid mixes al fresco painting with monoprinting on plaster, mounted on canvas. In previous projects, Chiasera blended curatorial and artistic practices by painting imaginary exhibitions or creating mobile display contexts. Here, he constructs a nightmarish scenario of conflation that follows no logic but seems to be directed partly by feverish intuition, partly by algorithm, and could be read as a comment on the dubious power play between artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, and the ostensibly minor visitors.