Dominik Stauch – Estragon and Wladimir

As in his earlier works, in his most recent ones Dominik Stauch also draws on art history, literature and music theory so as to imbue them with ambivalence and depth. The exhibition’s title is indebted to the artist’s current and intense study of Samuel Beckett. In Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, the two protagonists Vladimir and Estragon exemplify the pointlessness of human existence. Just like them, we too do not know what we are waiting for and whether there is any reward in all this waiting. For Stauch the questions Beckett’s play raises stand, among other things, for the artist’s desire to succeed while at the same time being aware that failure is only just round the corner.

In a series of small scale collages, Stauch allows the beholder to visually enter the studios of great artists that were important for his own artistic development. The collages could be called “appropriated” homages: he took them as they were and made them part of his own work by applying geometric patterns. Despite his serious and lovingly respectful treatment of models, Stauch always also keeps his distance, approaching them with a necessary hint of humour. In another series of slightly larger formats, Dominik Stauch shows cowboys on their horses, referring to the exhibition and publication series of the artist group The Blue Rider on the one hand and the thesis according to which artists are the cowboys of our days, a recurring theme in his artistic works.

He often rigorously reduces his visual language to simple geometric shapes, perfectly expressed in his medium size reverse glass paintings shown in the exhibition. He again and again addresses fundamental questions, such as how to combine painting and architecture. For our exhibition Stauch also created a new sculpture. He again worked with antique furniture, sawing a wooden chest into triangles he then rearranged into a new object, thus expressing the complex triangular relationship between artist, gallery (or institution) and collector.

Apart from paintings and collages, there are also two new videos: “In Stauch’s moving paintings, spaces appear and die away. Using overlays and movement, we delve into a sea of possibilities and diverging experiences. Three-dimensional views are created, immediately turning into two-dimensional things of the past the moment they are experienced. Stauch’s works thus behave similar to our daily experience of time: unlike in painting, in daily life time does not stand still. By animating classic concrete paintings, a tremendous potential of new experiences comes into reach – all the viewers have to do is grab it with their eyes.”