13 SEPTEMBER - 21 OCTOBER
AT BUREAU, NEW YORK
Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Bureau, New York are pleased to announce a solo exhibition, WIWI FOOD by the Berlin-based artist, Jonas Lipps. The exhibition marks the second half of an exchange between the two galleries, which began with Julia Rommel’s current exhibition, Twin Bed, in Berlin.
Lipps’s works often take up predominant systems of social order: schools, shopping centers, transportation networks, nation states and jails. These environments of control find themselves permeated by spoofs on their branding and design, malapropisms, anachronisms and associative inventions. Similarly, the pieces in Lipps’s latest body of work on view at Bureau are painted, drawn and collaged using both existing images and surreal interventions. Lipps repurposes paper napkins, the seals of correctional facilities and advertisements, placing them within environments that are charged with freudian spillages, libidinal utterances and personal preoccupations.
Throughout the exhibition, Lipps uses matte, often unmixed Casein paint to block out geometrically simplified spaces and build patterns of color that seem to derive from an innate logic. More than once, a window, a grid or something resembling abstracted fencing blocks the viewer’s gaze into the scene unfolding in front of them. It’s as if the systems of social organization and control that can be seen represented in some works have made themselves manifest in others. If one piece depicts a prison, another could well be a view from inside of it.
The use of cheap paper napkins – decorated with kitschy or nationalistic motifs – recurs. There are German flags, mushrooms paired with hedgehogs, and a safari scene that has been retooled by the artist into a children’s book with anthropomorphized zebras and giraffes. The idea of emblazoning something one wipes their hands on and summarily discards is a bit unnecessary when you think about it. Lipps’s treatment of these rescued throw-aways is equal parts transformative and resigned to the fact that we are not always the ones making the decisions that affect us. You may build your own house, but you probably have to buy the bricks from somebody else.
Jonas Lipps was born in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany. He now lives and works in Berlin. His work has been exhibited worldwide, with recent exhibitions including Tanya Leighton, Berlin; Gallery Celine, Glasgow; LISZT, Berlin; Paradise Garage, Los Angeles; Galerie der Stadt Schwaz; The Prague Biennial; and Kunstverein Bremerhaven.