The Slimy Trail of Slug and Snail, the first exhibition in a New York museum by Hamburg-based artists and collaborators Dorota Jurczak and Abel Auer. Jurczak’s fantastical and nightmarish works merge influences from folklore and mythology, with inventions of her own imagination. For this show P.S.1 features the full range of her work: paintings, etchings, and linocuts. Featured paintings by Auer include landscapes influenced by a combination of Central European iconography and the vivid color schemes of the late-1980s and early-1990s skater culture.
Jurczak’s etchings, often with an aged patina, belie their contemporary origins. Her style recalls artists as diverse as James Ensor and Francisco Goya, yet the narratives are predominantly indebted to Eastern European iconography and its rich tradition of Post-War illustration. In her menacing imaginary world, the cast of characters is comprised of anthropomorphized birds and spiders, along with bizarre human figures. Placed in both traumatic and humorous scenarios, the figures reveal the nuances of life’s pleasures and pains.
In Auer’s take on landscape painting, a saturated palette brings to life rural and historical settings. These works owe little to traditional modes of representation and ignore the basic laws of perspective. Aspects of contemporary life negotiate the sleepy countryside: bustling highways meander through fantastical forests, and Technicolor houses decorate the mountainside. The overall effect resembles the playful world of children’s book illustrations, where botanical and architectural anachronisms co-exist in harmony.