GALERIE VON&VON is pleased to present studio-fresh works on paper by New York-based artist Paul Jacobsen in a solo show at booth 34 at Paper Positions Munich, October 18-21, 2018.
The paper series features flags made with charcoal, dynamically waving across the picture plane. Streaks running to the lower edge of the image support the composition by referencing historical contexts. A burnt wooden frame frames the works and supports the content-related statement.
Since the 1880s, the black flag has been considered an authoritarian symbol, representing both absence and resistance to a nation-state. The artist is increasingly critical of the role of government today. He argues that democracy and authoritarianism are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Even though society has been far from egalitarian since its genocidal beginnings, Jacobsen believes that a new shameful chapter has recently been opened in the book of America's history. But rather than focusing on the ideals of an economy with worker collectives, consumer cooperatives, or an end to the military-industrial complex, Jacobsen wants to use the black flag motif to illustrate a moment of silence and lament. He uses it to refer to all the hard-won victories of indigenous people, civil rights, and women's and gay rights, which he sees threatened today more than ever, as well as labor and environmental protections.
Moreover, the works are not only to be understood as a political statement, but can also be seen as a return to the primal in view of the materials used and the inherent elements of fire, wood and coal.
Discover more works by Paul Jacobsen here.
Paul Jacobsen, who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, was an assistant for Jeff Koons, Sean Scully, and Rudolph Stingel. In his series "Studies in Movements," he addresses the black flag, which is considered an authoritarian symbol representing the absence or resistance to a nation state. The artist has an increasingly critical view towards politics. Even though society is far from egalitarian, Jacobsen believes that a new, dark, chapter has recently begun in America's history, which is expressed through his video work in addition to his charcoal drawings. In Jacobsen's current works, the artist focuses on the motif of flags, the fabric abstracted into a distinctive, dark shape that seems to wave in the wind. Symbolically, Paul Jacobsen's works address the loss of values and the accompanying dwindling charisma of the national flag. His works on paper prove to be both a provocation and a haunting memorial.
To the artist page