Andreas Grimm is pleased to announce Nana Dix’s first solo exhibition in New York.
In her current exhibition, Munich artist Nana Dix presents 57 small-scaled works on paper, which consist of over-painted collages as well as a selection of monotypics. The basic raw material of the collages originates from lifestyle magazines, which serve to offer their reader voyeuristic insights into the lives of the rich and beautiful, whilst declaring the possession of luxury goods as the zenith of materialism. Through the process of over-painting with lucent shellac-ink, Dix elucidates the brightly polished character of her source material, but simultaneously foils it by unmasking its glamorous appearance: Attractive models transform into golden skeletons, which ironically reflect the obsession with being skinny; faces disappear behind golden masks, which question or erase any kind of individuality. Furthermore, the use of shellac-ink highlights innate blemishes and flaws, which run contrary to the ideal of a flawless appearance.
The over-painting doesn’t just function as an aesthetic addition to the base material, but also as an artistic device to help expose the truth behind the beautiful illusion, which rarely registers on first sight. Most of the works are arranged so enigmatically that they are opposed to a quick scan. For example, instead of visual fast-food, Dix presents virtually slow-food, on which the “zapping” glimpse – which we’ve become accustomed to through the image saturated mass media – just rebounds.
The need for a second and third study does not just apply to individual pieces, but to the whole body of her work. Only through a closer look can the viewer develop an eye for the repetition of the motives and formal analogies, which imply a narrative coherency amongst the various pictures without actually telling a story. Therein exists the possibility of other stories–
of sadness, of mystery, of existentialism, or maybe at times of absurdity-which are hinted at here and which the viewer can reconstruct. Through the critical reflection of materialism and the superficiality of contemporary ideals- which characterizes Nana Dix’ ouevre-these works preserve a frankness, which transcends pure criticism and leaves space for the undissolved mystery of the conditio humana.