Reception March 6, 6-8 pm
Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to present A Go Go, an exhibition of altered record album covers by Martin Wöhrl.
By blocking out the graphics of the cover with paint, Wöhrl plays on the consistent, square format to create an abstract composition derived from the layout of the original design. In some instances, vestiges of the original album covers remain in the form of exposed stickers, logos or blacked out blocks of text. There is no effort made here to conceal the material and in fact the concealed text is kept as the title for each.
The allusions to art movements such as color-field painting, op art, the bauhaus, constructivism... and most obviously Josef Albers, are inevitable but precisely the point. Equating such 'quotidian' graphics and materials with 'fine' art is at the heart of Wöhrl's methodology. The artist often uses wood scraps, discarded furniture or cheap building materials to create his sculptures, blurring the distinction between the hand-made with the mass-produced and the cheap with the luxe. The cachet associated with records currently, as both a throw-back and on-trend luxury item makes his intervention on these a conflation of identities. While the albums he works on are certainly not of the collectable kind, they nevertheless provide the aesthetic raw material which Wöhrl has proven so adept at exploiting.
Martin Wöhrl was born in 1974 in Munich, where he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and later at the Glasgow School of Art. His art resides in public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States, including a number of large scale public installations. He received the Lothar-Fischer prize in 2011 and has been the recipient of numerous other grants. His work has been widely exhibited at venues internationally, including CCA Center, Mallorca; ArtMetropole, Toronto; Neues Museum, Nuremburg and the Stadtische Kunsthalle, Munich.