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October 8, 2014

Jan Holthoff Opening in Cologne Oct 24


Following his Abstract Strategies, the group show Jan Holthoff curated in Düsseldorf last month, comes a solo show at Martina Kaiser Contemporary Art in Cologne. Jan is also in our present group show Full House East, which runs through October.





From the forthcoming catalog essay for Full House East, I write that ... 
... a painting is not abstract because of what it looks like, but because of what it is. We should be cautious of thinking of the “abstract” as merely a visual mode of some sort. Half a century ago Adorno described the art object as an integrative system; it has an internal and deeply hermetic system, and it has an external system that accounts for its position or indeed its strategy in the world. Adorno advanced the work of art as an instrument of resistance and liberation, not just an occasion for the expression of feelings or taste. This put the art object on a new footing and opened up its possibilities immensely. It is in this sense that we should call the work of art, literally, an abstraction. 
Adorno has had a huge influence on postmodern aesthetics and on so-called socially engaged art. The time has come I think to re-read the aesthetics of Adorno in view of present work in abstraction. What, actually, is the event that we call an abstract painting! The implications are profound, and Jan Holthoff is one of the most energetic and uncompromising artists I know of who is pursuing this matter. I am honored and, frankly, FLOORED ... to represent this artist. Read the essay I wrote about Jan's work exactly two years ago.