Jane Kim/ Thrust Projects is pleased to present UNHEIM, an exhibition of drawings by Vienna-based Daniel Domig and Valentin Hirsch opening Friday, May 29th from 6 to 8 pm. Domig and Hirsch are close friends who met at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna in 2005. The artists have conceived a special collaboration, exhibiting and exchanging the themes of their work for the first time. Hirsch who primarily works with etching and drawing, is fascinated with the precise spontaneity of the single line. Domig, whose painting installations have been previously shown at the gallery, ventures deep into the human psyche with a series of 30 or so works on paper.
Hirsch and Domig’s work exposes our current feeling of displacement by exploring the theme with urgency and loving attention to detail. Although they arrive at very different visual results (the drawings couldn’t be more different in execution and style), both artists retain a profound similarity in the way they encounter estrangement. While Hirsch ventures to the outside, Domig peers to the inside.
Hirsch’s drawings contrast alienated forms against outbursts of darkness, asking us to reflect upon where we fit in. The elephant appears as a motif throughout Hirsch’s oeuvre; the artist deforms, dissects and modifies the form of the elephant to explore its duality as an animal of strength and vulnerability. The elephant stands for the dichotomous elements that form the whole of human existence: good and evil, life and death, creation and destruction.
Daniel Domig takes a more introspective approach with work made with pencil, ink, and oil on paper. His drawings present an exploration of man being torn between civilized and primitive drives. Animated painterly lines coalesce into anthropomorphic forms. As hybrid figures emerge, they unveil our erotic instincts. Physical state depends on the organic forms of flora and fauna within the drawings; man is a finite creature who is intertwined within and based upon nature.
Both artists approach the medium with a visual culture from old worlds, evoking images of Albrecht Dürer and spirtual symbols. The title of the show UNHEIM, derived from the German term “Unheimlichkeit,” implies the uncanny and a state of being unable to find a home. The question becomes: if we cannot find our place in the external world or our internal selves, where does that leave us?
”..and if ever we are to find true shelter, it is with the recognition of our tragic nakedness and need for true shelter it has to start.” – Frederick Buechner
Daniel Domig was born in 1983 in Vancouver and lives in Vienna. He has had two one-person exhibitions at Jane Kim/Thrust Projects, New York in 2006 & 2008, as well as an exhibition of his paintings at the Museum Engen, Germany. His work was included in “AUSTRIA conTEMPORAY” at the Essel Museum, Vienna, this year.
Valentin Hirsch was born in 1978 in Eschwege, Germany and lives in Vienna. Hirsch completed the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts with Professor Gunter Damisch in 2007. He had solo exhibitions at Galerie Karol Winiarczyk, Vienna 2008 and Siemens Artlab, Vienna 2006. This is Hirsch’s first exhibit in New York and the US.