This is the New York debut of the artist, Julia Weck. Weck, who was born in Halle/Saale, is part of an emerging generation of painters that grew up in the former G.D.R. As a student of The Academy of Art in Leipzig, and graduate of the Bauhaus Academy in Weimar, Weck studied under both Neo Rauch and Arno Rink. However, of a younger generation, Weck sets herself apart via her interest in the cultural signifiers and behaviors of youth culture.
Weck’s acrylic on canvas paintings are populated by cool-kids wrestling and acting out, masterfully coupling tension between characters’ physical actions with a formal tension in the paintings’ compositions. She judiciously flattens certain surfaces of the painting while constructing depth in other areas, creating a push and pull between planes that mimic the back and forth between characters. Loose framing and the frequent appearance of flash lighting suggest a basis in photography. Yet what seem to be spontaneous moments of reckless abandon are actually carefully constructed mise en scènes. Weck’s compositions are in fact derived from a labored series of drawings and staged photographs that are then collaged and layered to create moments of unexpected tension.
Also in the exhibition are a series of paintings based on appropriated images from children’s coloring books. Rebelling against these idylls, Weck superimposes her own dubious narratives, expressions of her playful manner and interest in mischievous oppositions.
[extended through July 15]