Wonkun Jun *1970 in Seoul, South Korea
The young Korean artist Wonkun Jun, who graduated from Düsseldorf Arts Academy in 2004 as a master student of Helmut Federle, describes his pictures as sentiments, as mirrors of his emotions. His partly monochrome color space paintings carry a very personal thumbprint. He does not try to hide the brushstroke, but develops his principle as a painter by way of his brushwork. Through the multi-layered application of thin acryl paint on white-grounded canvasses he develops a color space that exudes a peculiar fascination on the spectators. The surface, which attains a kind of vividness because of the oftentimes coarse structure of the canvas and minute color particles, is given a grid- or line-structure through the brushwork, bestowing an individual rhythm on every picture.
Jun calls this the representation of emotional moderation. He employs a rinsing technique that creates a color flow from a single stroke of the brush. The colors that are ultimately seen are the result of a long-lasting process of reduction. Starting with shades of black, the artist continuously brightens the picture until, at last, new basic colors are formed which are frequently converted into white. The colors themselves appear as delicate veils on the canvas. Spectators are almost led to believe that they can understand the painterly process and can perceive the various applications of color underneath the surface structure. The result of this process are paintings of poetic beauty and sensual profundity. For Wonkun Jun, an infinitely continued emotional change is reflected by them, a process of moderation leading to a kind of beauty determined by the composition of colors and their repetition.
Dr. Judith Dahmen-Beumers
RONALD KODRITSCH *1970 in Leoben, Austria
“The best thing is to surprise oneself with a new creation”, Ronald Kodritsch once said, and this sentence may also be applied as a leitmotif to his work as an artist. Artists are constantly looking for something, they do not want to do the same thing over and over again, but want to try something new, to challenge conventional modes of viewing something, to question styles and techniques and to create new contexts. They are driven by curiosity and impatience, by the joy of painting and the artistic experiment that exists beyond convention. And yet Kodritsch is a spectator and collector of the quotidian, the banal, sometimes even the bizarre which he then takes up and transforms into his very own and personal picture stories. He knows the history of art and its tradition and he expertly tries to sound out the options of contemporary painting by deliberately blurring the borders between the so-called high culture and popular culture. Artists create pictorial worlds which are cheerful tongue-in-cheek products, but may appear melancholy or outright evil at times. Everything is worthy of being painted for Kodritsch, everything is of interest to him and his art. He often fuses pop-culture quotes with kitsch and references to art history. A characteristic feature of his paintings is to introduce nuisance factors such as writing or strange figurations to an originally abstract picture. In the paintings of Ronald Kodritsch there is often a blending of forms and signs which can be interpreted both in an abstract or a concrete way, as banal works or creations rich in content. There is a certain repertoire of motives and figures that the artist likes to come back to, such as the skeleton, the brush, the strange spectral bodies and forms. The banal is imbued with meaning, the familiar is alienated, the lovely or idyllic is broken. Some elements are reminiscent of comic or youth culture, maybe graffiti. The work itself, however, again and again contains autobiographic elements, personal experiences are woven into it as much as sardonic statements concerning our society. Many of his works are supposed to be viewed ironically and they carry a fine kind of humor. However, to reduce Kodritsch’s art to mere joking or irony would be a grave mistake. He is not to be seen as a joking cartoonist, as the artist himself once said, and words such as “strange, peculiar, maybe also weird” would seem more appropriate to describe his work. First and foremost, however, Kodritsch is a convinced painter. A painter with exceptional abilities and knowledge concerning the medium and its possibilities. He paints intuitively and spontaneously, maintaining a decidedly unacademic access and not shying away from being perceived as childish or naïve.
Excerpt from the text by Günther Oberhollenzer “The Sentence is in the Picture”