sans titre, Paris
Sans titre proposes a solo presentation by German Chicago-based artist Paula Kamps (b. 1990) with seven to ten new paintings of various formats, produced especially for the fair.
Paula Kamps’ practice explores mediums traditionally considered peripheral to painting. She develops a technique midway between watercolor and drawing, scattering upon the
canvas large swathes of ink that take the form of “stains”, as André Butzer describes them. These reveal figures, here and there – scenes of daily life, always fragmented.
Over the last year she has come to incorporate imagery from various cultural dresses and costumes and has given an emphasis in her work to represent performativity as seen in theaters, the circus or at carnival events. Depicted are figures wearing garments indicating cultural belonging, especially those of children. Whether a Bavarian boy’s traditional costume, the artist’s childhood ballet dancing garb, or the American Cowboy dress – all conjure spaces of traditional or folkloric pageantry. Choosing garments that act particularly as signifiers of affiliation, they dwell on how each distinctive background impacts identity and perception.
These forms, reflecting on nationalism or the creation of shared myth, are juxtaposed with scenes deriving from actual stages relating to straight performativity like circus performers, clowns or Carnival and Halloween costumes in order to hint at their common ground.
Carrying on the use of ink, pigments diluted in rabbit skin glue and acrylic paint applied by airbrush the figures and scenery still derives from the stains and washes that are first applied onto each canvas. Leaves and vegetational elements continue to loom around in the paintings, always reminding our transient and periodic nature. Kamps envisions her work as a continuation of the approach to communicate matters of reminiscence and self-conception. Speaking of both displacement and connection, the paintings evoke sensations of contemplation, urging the viewer to pause and reflect on the mutability of memory. They communicate the impossibility to share memory and to which consequences on our concept of identity and authenticity that leads.
Paula Kamps (b. 1990, Germany) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Tomma Abts and Elizabeth Peyton. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Mine Projects, Hong Kong (2022), M. LeBlanc, Chicago (2021), Sans titre (2016, Paris (2021). Kunstverein Heppenheim (2019), Spazio Nea, Naples (2018) as well as Kunsthaus Mettmann (2014). Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at Neve, Los Angeles (2022), at Andrea Festa Fine Art, Rome (2021), at Orchard32, New York (2019), at Carbon12, Dubai (2018) and at Kunstverein Reutlingen (2018). In 2022, her work will be presented in a solo show East Contemporary, Milano.