Caro NiedererSummer Crossing
1 July 2016 - 27 August 2016
Opening Thursday, 30 June 2016, 6:00 pm
Caro Niederer’s Red Paintings
Grady is 17 years old, she lives on the Upper East Side of Manhatten and has no desire whatsoever to attend her debutante ball. She is spoilt, she is rich and she stays one hot summer in New York while her family summers in Europe. Grady is the main protagonist of Truman Capote’s first oeuvre: Summer Crossing – the novel which he began writing in 1943 at 19 years of age and which was discovered and published in 2004.
Summer Crossing is the romantic narration of an undecided in pursuit of real life: «Hot weather opens the skull of a city, exposing its white brain, and its heart of nerves, which sizzle like the wires inside a light bulb. And there exudes a sour extra-human smell that makes the very stone seem flesh-alive, webbed and pulsing.» Summer Crossing was also the starting point for Caro Niederer’s Red Paintings. The large-format oil paintings have a human presence and in the context of the artist’s work seem dense, radiant and warm. They are red and red-brown and simultaneously figurative and abstract, depending on how you choose to contemplate them. The colour red appears «hot» and one can imagine Grady’s 17-year-old view on the world, soaked by the New York heat, which paralyses everything and adds a viscous, stringy and sticky layer. The Red Paintings are based on uneventful, normal scenes and outlooks of the everyday life of Caro Niederer, selected from an image archive, which the artist uses continuously as a starting point and which she continues to expand. A bouquet of hydrangeas on a kitchen table (Caro’s kitchen table). A place of work. A grey urban canyon. A Chinese garden. Human beings at the beach. People recreating.
A series of paintings by Caro Niederer which I always enjoyed are her first «Alltagsbilder»˙, in English: depictions of the everyday. They were painted in the 90’s with a transparent colouring on small-format cardboard supports measuring 24 x 30 centimetres. Souvenirs taken from real life, made by families to preserve memories for a time when the children have left and live their own life. These mundane paintings were transformed into small silk carpets. Then came the interior photographs depicting houses and apartments of collectors, which show the pieces in the middle of real life. Caro then went further and painted large Brown Paintings, that sat on the canvas like fleeting sketches. These were followed by large tableaus in penetrative colours – they also had their cover versions in the form of grand iridescent silk carpets.
Now the Red Paintings. In succession they are part of an absolute logical development. They are more mature and can hold a gaze. They cannot be ignored. The colour Red is not angry but alludes a heat, that lays itself over everything. Rothkoesk and vibrant. Slightly sullen. A new phase. Caro Niederer’s will to present the world around her in continually new forms and media makes our own surrounding more mysterious, more interesting. We find her world of images strangely familiar and just like a side note on modern existence. If you would like to see more of Caro Niederer visit her instagram account. It offers a kaleidoscope of new and old works together with personal images, friends and her open view on the world that surrounds us.