Jason Karolak [*1974 · US]. Argot (for HB), 2018.


Digital print. 20 + 3 E.A.

The lineage and influence of the Bauhaus has travelled far and wide. When I was an undergraduate student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in the 1990s I studied with a professor, Herbert Beerman, who had been a student of Josef Albers at Yale. Herbert was a charismatic teacher who presented rigorous fundamentals of color and design, while also lecturing about psychedelics. The course had an element of anarchy, and project due dates were vague. Through Herbert and at Pratt, I was exposed to Albers, the Bauhaus, and to broader modernist projects. I became further immersed in abstraction and the concrete elements of art-making. I was also living in Brooklyn during what may now be considered a golden era of hip hop coming out of this locale. This music, the noisy energy of the city, and the bright commercial signage were impressing themselves onto my body and into my visual language. The Bauhaus was an exemplar of two important threads of modernism. Firstly, the Bauhaus helped to establish a kind of school of thought for artists to deal with the internal components of art-making, the inherent elements of line, form, color, structure, and so on. It “extracted” artmaking away from the world; it reduced and focused its principles. At the same time, the Bauhaus school connected abstract principles back to the real and applied world, through its collaborative investigations into industry, architecture, graphic design, furniture, among other spheres. This tension between art’s removal from the world and its deep engagement in it has been central to my evolving language. In April 2018 I had my first solo exhibition of paintings in Germany. A review, written by Monika Werner Staude and titled „Vom Überleben im Lauten New York“ appeared in the West German newspaper. The writer described how the work mimicked the sonic qualities of the urban environment in which I reside. She also stated that the work is quiet, distilled, and meditative, perhaps in response to this same noise. This piece was made by combining painted elements with digital editing
tools.

300 € net