Wilhelm Sasnal’s show moved now from Whitechapel Gallery, London, to the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany. More than that, brand new paintings have been included into the show.
I noticed Mr. Sasnal's International breakthrough show at Liste Basel art fair in 2002 - especially his ‘Mouse’ paintings: They were based on the Pulitzer-prize-winning Holocaust comic book by Art Spiegelman. He removed all words, reduced the comic images to an almost abstract composition and blew it up to a large-scale painting. The artist said, 'he wanted to find out, how much of its content could still be conveyed by an image taken out of context and without any speech bubbles’.
This is a typical method of creating paintings by Wilhelm Sasnal: He takes found images from mass media, film, internet, art history or from private photos and modifies them into Sasnal paintings. However, he does not follow strictly any particular style - as he thinks this limits his possibilities as a painter.
Ironically, Wilhelm Sasnal told me that he, personally, does not like political motifs, ‘They just keep reappearing in my paintings - I want to express my anger about politics as a citizen.’ He also frequently depicts his son, Kacper, and his wive ,Anka, in his more private paintings.
New in Munich is the Gadaffi series of 2011:
The artist was embarrassed by the way the Libyan revolutionaries exposed the dead body of the country’s former leader, Muammar Al Gadaffi, like a trophy at the cold store of a local supermarket to the public. In the painting ‘Gadaffi 3’ he ‘tried to give back some dignity to the corpse’. Asked, he also confirmed a reference to ‘The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ’ by Andrea Mantegna of 1490. After Mr. Sasnal finished 'Gadaffi 3', he thought, he might have added too much dignity and did ‘Gadaffi’: ‘There, I took the image and simply played with colour and form to make a painting from it.’
Wilhem Sasnal's artistic parctise is not limited to painting, he does also films, which are also on display here in Munich. Rarely, I saw painting as lively, as in this show!
Through 13th May 2012