Clemens Wolf »Line Drawings«


Vienna-based artist Clemens Wolf (*1981) describes himself as an advocate of sensuality. He is particularly interested in the process of transformation, of turning something trivial into a sensual object, and the irretrievable. Guided chance plays a decisive role in the production process. Clemens Wolf has learned to allow things to happen.

The show, organized by Collectors Agenda at Vienna’s Franz-Josefs-Kai, features works from two important work cycles by Clemens Wolf: the Parachute Works series and the Expanded Metal Pigment Paintings, both of which operate between figuration and abstraction and freeze irretrievable moments for the viewer.

10 Clemens Wolf Line Drawings fjk3
02 Clemens Wolf Line Drawings fjk3

When entering the room, a golden parachute, apparently about to collapse, captures all the attention. Parachute Sculpture (gold) is an integral part of Clemens Wolf’s work cycle Parachute Works which encompasses paintings, objects, drawings and sculptures, for which he uses discarded parachutes. Initially arranging them on canvas, on the wall, or in the room, the artist then conserves the folds with dyed epoxy resin – for Clemens Wolf a symbol of the ephemeral and the unique.

The same idea becomes apparent in the Line Drawings, another offspring of the Parachute Works and the giver of the show’s title, that occupy the wall in one long row and continue on the wall of the adjacent room.

For his Line Drawings, Clemens Wolf dips parachute cords in epoxy resin and throws them onto a sheet of paper where they solidify in the formation in which they land on the paper. The gesture of the hand that directs the falling cords becomes palpable and visible. Colored epoxy resin splashes that cover the picture and further let us imagine this impulsive moment. The artist herewith refers to the act of drawing, which is considered all the more ingenious the more carelessly “thrown” and nonchalant it is. The cord turns into a line and on the sheet of paper it becomes the drawing.

A series of small-format works, each consisting of two contrasting halves and reminiscent of Yves Klein's unique blue paintings, complete the show. The stem from Clemens Wolf’s work cycle Expanded Metal Pigment Paintings. Again the material is brought to the forefront, this time using expanded metal as a brush and pigment powder in order to create abstract paintings, whose expressive painting process is irreproducible.

06 Clemens Wolf Line Drawings fjk3
07 Clemens Wolf Line Drawings fjk3
08 Clemens Wolf Line Drawings fjk3

Clemens Wolf (*1981) lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Since his graduation at the University of Arts Linz, he is fascinated by dilapidated material like fences in front of dumps, abandoned warehouses and unfinished buildings.

In his latest works, he sets his main focus on the process of transformation haunted by his own history. Old discarded parachutes (he is a passionate parachutist) are transformed into sensual objects. After they are immersed in epoxide resin the parachutes are layed out in tondi, hung or stand up as sculpture or stretched on frames as paintings, every crease being arranged meticulously and finally left to dry. The choice of such a lightweight and an aerial object as a parachute conjures up the fundamental notion of gravity.

When examining Clemens Wolf’s obsessive and mysterious work, it’s obvious that the frontier between painting, sculpture and drawing is of great importance to him. The surface of the pieces with their vivid palette reveals a world that is almost organic.

Clemens Wolf's work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo shows in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, the USA and China and has been a part of biennials such as the Istanbul Biennale 2019. His works have entered important private collections as well as institutional collections such as Albertina and the STRABAG Art Collection.

Clemens Wolf Web 19

Text: Florian Langhammer
Photos: Florian Langhammer, Christoph Liebentritt (portrait)

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