Philipp Kremer at Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles

Nicodim Gallery presents the solo exhibition by German artist Philipp Kremer (b. 1981). Seemingly effortless but complex, eccentric but liberating, obscene but amicable, Kremer’s paintings of people engaging in orgies and lovemaking in his “Gatherings” series and crying faces in his “Pause” series not only strike the viewer with an “in your face” effect, but also emanate nuanced sensitivity toward humanity at the same time.

The erected dicks, the anguished faces, and the interlocked bodies in his monochromatic “Gatherings” are depicted with large, swift, yet precise brushstrokes of unmixed, bright, and transparent oil paint. The artist also intentionally leaves ostensible voids on the canvas to reinforce the aesthetic expression of the negative space, which allows for a more objective reading of his provocative portraiture other than mere eroticism.

The more playful “Pause” is a further development of the formal approach in “Gatherings”. By zooming in onto a single distressed face, and applying bigger brushstrokes of more than one color on each canvas, the artist intensifies the interplay between indexicality and iconicity: tracing the physical act of painting while insisting on being an organized representational, yet emotional picture. The void and the emerging white background function in unison as a hidden force that simultaneously presents the visible elements and suggests an invisible narrative. As a result, the image depends not only on what is painted, but also on what is left empty.

Philipp Kremer
Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles
Through December 3