FRANK AHLGRIMM. BOTOX TO GO. 13.06.2008 – 26.07.2008 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

With „BOTOX TO GO“ the Galerie Reinhard Hauff proudly presents its second solo show with new paintings by the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts educated painter Frank Ahlgrimm (*1965), who now lives and works in Berlin. Frank Ahlgrimm’s large emotionally and intellectually disturbing canvasses—which are already part of numerous prestigious collections—make an important contribution to the discussion about the role of painting in the media age.

It is widely recognized that the overwhelming dominance of media generated content has created an alienated (mass) consciousness that can not critically examine the world that produced it. In the world wide web universe, information overexposure has led to intellectual and emotional indifference and deadened human reactions. An overdose of diversity, stimulation and entertainment has taken the passion out of pleasure. In his vast sensous colour abstractions,
Ahlgrimm reflects on on these conditions and anxieties in our late-capitalist society, and also on the circumstances of the cultural collapse in the communist bloc where he grew up.

In the works on view, words and lettering are treated as visual phenomena, intimating but also withholding meaning, while other images are meant to be be read as a script. Whereas the high gloss letters in the painting “BOTOX TO GO“ from 2008 refer to our obsession with beauty (surface), references to the barbed wire, ammunition and military insignia of the former East Bloc regimes can be deciphered in the sombre mood of the series „Transit“. In the environment
Ahlgrimm portrays, everything and everybody becomes flat. Except the very surface, where Ahlgrimm applies paint with a fascination for the expressive, tactile and sculptural range of the medium itself. Presentation of humanity is otherwise cursory or indirect: There is no narrative, no focus, no figural hierarchy, no perspective, no spatial references. In the series „Transit“, the globe – our world – is like a plastic sticker applied to the surface of the crafted canvas. With his peculiar repertoire of disjunctive signs and symbols, cut, copied and pasted from the depersonalized visual spaces found in video games and computer graphics, Ahlgrimm seeks to bridge a dissociation between anguish and control to engage with the viewer.