FRANK AHLGRIMM. nourish your doubt. 21.09.2019 – 15.11.2019

Press Release
Exhibition Views
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english / deutsch

Nourish your doubt is the fifth solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Frank Ahlgrimm (*1965, Rerik, Germany) at Galerie Reinhard Hauff. His large-format paintings – typically mixing collage, oil, lacquer and acrylic on canvas – combine figurative and abstract elements in compositions of illusionistically sprayed, sculpted color surfaces and striking lettering.

Ahlgrimm wants to invite doubt – nourish your doubt(s), 2019. But what exactly does he want the viewer to doubt and critically question in his works – and maybe generally speaking? The meaning of image and writing, the work of art in itself, or even him/herself – the spectator and observer's position or point of view? Ahlgrimm's compositions cannot be accessed immediately. Of course, the titles, the motifs and the striking text fragments give the viewer some clues as to what the artist wants to express. However, he leads us down a path that is not necessarily the right one, certainly not the only one and possibly the wrong one. Many a title and inscription provide some insight into the origin and development of the work, but others don't necessarily. "Minimalist linguistic and other creative expressions are always user friendly for the intellectually lazy and insensitive," says Max Goldt, a German writer and musician. "Reductionism has been praised as an artistic cure-all for decades, and those who love to keep all things simple love to claim that it is always the simplest that is ultimately the most difficult and the best. A lie of the first order. Why has mankind struggled and suffered all along into the 21st century? To choke on raw potatoes?"

In the work See True, 2019, the viewer is asked to recognize a truth. But what truth? What kind of master plan (The creator has a master plan) does the artist have in mind? What strategy has the artist developed and what suggestions does he propose? The viewer must think individually as well as independently (Independent) and not be dictated by the artist. Although his work, too big to fail, 2019, claims that some or someone are too big and too powerful to fail, the statement implies a certain irony, because anyone who deals with creative endeavors on a daily basis knows that failure is part of improving and succeeding, and that one usually rises stronger and wiser.

Whereas the painted motifs of the crocodile are taken from an old photo book of the artist, the collage method is used again and again in Ahlgrimm's oeuvre. The series Social Jetlag, first presented in 2010 was created from A4 collages, which the artist then reworked, enlarged and printed on vinyl (260 x 200 cm). "The discrepancy between work and free days, between social and biological time, can be described as 'social jetlag'," says Till Roenneberg – Professor at the Institute for Medical Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. "Social jetlag can have far-reaching consequences for the health, social and professional performance of those affected. It is comparable to the jetlag that we experience after flying over time zones, but it usually accompanies those affected not for a short period but for a lifetime." Ahlgrimm does not want to dictate what we should see or understand. He wants us to form our own opinion about his work – to reflect, to think, to doubt and to discuss what we see and understand.

Frank Ahlgrimm's works are represented in numerous internationally renowned collections
(text: Cornelia Schuster, translation to English: Elisabeth Hauff.)

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening and to the Art Alarm with beer and wine on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 from 11 am to 9 pm.