Jorinde Voigt at David Nolan Gallery

The 2013 installment of the biggest global art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach was a welcome departure from the previous year’s edition. The fair featured interesting galleries, great new artists working in a variety of media and showing captivating new techniques and ideas. As we always do during these large art fairs, galleryIntell editors combed the entire event and picked the very best of the gallery exhibits to share with you.

One of our favorites during this year’s fair was a German artist Jorinde Voigt. So beautifully complex and multi – layered were her paintings that at some point a crowd gathered in front of the installation at the David Nolan gallery booth. Collectors and art enthusiasts appeared mesmerized by the “unraveled strings” of Voigt’s Beethoven Sonatas and her cryptic charts and schematics of Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse.

Jorinde Voigt brings her background in classical music (she is a trained cellist), philosophy and physics to her art. As Rebeccah Blum tells us  in her recent series “Piece for Words and Views” based on Barthes’ book, Voigt constructs her collages through a series of methodical actions, all of which are listed in a summary of elements somewhere within the painting. In her systematic approach she records declensions in time that appear in the original literary/philosophical or musical source. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow…  one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four minutes… Her collaged elements are visualizations of certain words that she read in the book and then, in a systematic way, she recorded which part of the book she read it in. She also records physical phenomena: wind directions, light, electricity, north and south, internal and external centers. She will also often repeat an image within the single drawing because she is depicting is from several perspectives and this repartition of one image gives her drawings  a musical quality  – a rhythmic element.”

Piece for Words and Views XXIV

And because everything has a reason in Jorinde Voigt’s work, the number of works within a series will often be based on the original source. For instance there are as many works in the Beethoven Sonatas series as there are original sonatas – 32.

Those familiar with the work of early surrealists (Guillaume Appolinaire, Max Earnst, Andre Breton, Yves Tanguy, and others) will see that the origins of Jorinde Voigt’s art stems directly from the techniques and philosophies born during that movement. Automatic drawing, collage, systemization of imagery, and equation of writing to drawing were central to Surrealism and appear prominently in Voigt’s pairings. Looking closer at her magnificently threaded and looped drawings we also recall Leon Ferrari’s drawings seen during MoMA’s Tangled Alphabets exhibition in 2009.

Interview transcript on page 2

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