Paul Owen Weiner / FEAR RENT STRIKE SURVEILLANCE DATA UNREST PROTEST SICK CONTROL PRIVATE EQUITY TEAR GAS MONOPOLY STAY HOME RIOT
June 21 - August 29, 2020
An der Schanz 1a
50735 Cologne, Germany
In his second solo exhibition at Krupic Kersting Gallery, Paul Weiner oscillates between bluntly populist text and nuanced, formalist abstraction. With his process interrupted by the pandemic, Weiner’s exhibition provokes timely conversations about corporate control, worker power, civil rights, technology, hegemonic power, and escapism.
Weiner presents raw statements about class power and solidarity that respond to the state of the economic and biological crisis as well as the political unrest in the United States. The new “text”-works co-opt Weiner’s long-standing charcoal aesthetic and obsession with violent mark making, responding in real time to a changing society and wondering out loud how society will look when the crisis ends. One excerpt of these works reads ‘FEAR RENT STRIKE SURVEILLANCE DATA UNREST PROTEST SICK CONTROL PRIVATE EQUITY TEAR GAS MONOPOLY STAY HOME RIOT’.
Weiner’s Void paintings, primarily made before the coronavirus became ubiquitous, consist of impasto black oil paint and graphite on canvas. The works are coyly titled after escapist activities as in VOID (COUNTRY CLUB) and VOID (EQUESTRIAN). Deftly painted alla-prima, the shimmering works appear as mature formalism even as they evince a purposeful vapidity cutting to the core of the art world’s commercial obsession with trading card minimalism and wealth signifiers. Weiner’s blacked out American flag paintings loom over the exhibition, suggesting a declining empire failing spectacularly to respond to 21st century challenges. Alongside these flags, Weiner presents prints of recent US government and internal corporate documents detailing technological geopolitics, US/China tensions, surveillance, and artificial intelligence races. This exhibition continues Weiner’s conceptual history of corporate skepticism following recent exhibitions addressing mass violence and military industrial complex profiteering in exhibitions at Athens Institute for Contemporary Art and Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art.