Dorothee Golz

Galerie Hohenlohe

A selection of sculptures and drawings from the last six years, Dorothee Golz’s second gallery exhibition in Vienna resembled a small-scale retrospective. The works on view seemed typical of Golz: humorous, sometimes sardonic images from the world of the everyday. Her Kommunikationsmodell (Communication model), 2000, consists of fused plaster cups (the remains of coffee are painted in)—a wonderful reference to people coming together. Golz placed the cups on a little table surrounded by her 4 Stapelstühle (4 stacking chairs), which could also be a kind of “communication model.” Each of this work’s four units actually consisted of a pair of cut-up chairs, one being three-quarters of a chair, the other one-quarter. You would only get a whole seat if you put two parts together—and then there would still be two open sides. A rather uncomfortable piece of furniture, it translates the idea of stacking into the horizontal dimension.

The motifs of Golz’s drawings, a medium in which she demonstrates true mastery, are also derived from the everyday. They typically consist of a few precisely placed images that are sparingly colored and make no use of linear perspective but float in plenty of empty white space. Golz so condenses her themes that her drawings are often like poems. At the same time another layer of meaning comes through in the titles, which are narrative and often humorous. For example, Golz titled one of her latest drawings Telekinetische Haushaltsbewältigung (Telekinetic housekeeping), 2002: A woman balances a stack of pots on her finger; another woman pours coffee just by meditating; a third maneuvers a broom at the snap of her fingers. A wink-wink image of every housewife’s dream, that homemaking be effortless—but also a reference to men’s misconception that the household takes care of itself. Golz presents us with a similar double viewpoint in Wachsen an großen Aufgaben (Grow through big tasks), 1998: Two little women stand broom in hand, aghast at the sight of a giant coffee pot.

This psychologizing look at the everyday is central to Golz’s drawings. She invents impressive images of wishful dreams and role models, of fears and also of anger. Perhaps the most intense drawing was Bad Moon Rising III, 2002: A little boy heads toward a dark moon as two other kids sit in a bubble in the foreground; behind the moon, a fourth boy is marching, deep in a dream. The title comes from the old pop song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, who sang of “trouble on the way”—exactly the mood conveyed by the drawing. The drawings’ kinship to poetry becomes particularly clear in this instance, for this baleful mood is not explicitly formulated but rather arises from Golz’s choice of color and, above all, from the rhythm of the pictorial motifs.

Sabine B. Vogel

Translated from German by Sara Ogger.