Luhring Augustine is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of new works by German artist Johannes Kahrs. The artist employs newspapers, magazines, films, advertisements, and his own photographic archive as subject matter for his paintings and drawings, and then reinterprets the source material by removing and altering signifying details contained in the image. Kahrs blurs, crops, and repositions the composition to reveal a unique but ambiguous rendering of the subject.
With this new body of work, Kahrs continues to pull compositional elements from images found in mass media. He highlights the interesting poses and unorthodox angles of his subject matter, choosing to portray moments either before or after a significant event transpires. The male figure featured in Untitled (man sitting) sits bandaged and bruised from an unspecified injury, his face is cropped out of the compositional frame, eliminating emotional cues as to a definitive sequence of events. As the viewer further inspects the figure, a feeling of sympathy arises as it becomes clear that the subject’s bandages are unable to fully cover his extensive injuries. The same vulnerability is suggested in Untitled (white), only here the male figure depicted is caressed by the hands of two anonymous women. While the content of this work emphasizes sexuality over violence, there is a raw physicality that unites all of Kahrs’ compositions, no matter the subject.
Johannes Kahrs was born in 1965 in Bremen, Germany, and currently lives and works in Berlin. His work is in the collections of numerous museums and institutions worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Exhibitions of his work include solo shows at GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy, Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin as well as the group exhibition Painting of Modern Life curated by Ralph Rugoff for the Hayward Gallery in London.