Caroline Corleone


Opening: Tuesday, 17.01.2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
Opening hours: Tue – Fr 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.,
Sat 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

When French artist Georges Braque stuck several pieces of wood to a drawing entitled Fruit Dish and Glass in 1912, he was, to a small degree, hoodwinking his audience. The grained material was actually industrial by-the-metre goods. Braque had recently bought a roll of wallpaper because the contradiction of nature being simulated on printed paper fascinated him. His picture plays with this fallacy and doubles the effect because he collages the pattern in a still life that is itself a painted illusion and breaks down into fragments in front of the observer’s eyes.
In her second solo exhibition at Galerie Krobath, Caroline Corleone appears to be emulating the famous cubist by using polyester fabric from the bargain bin in her new works. Like Braque, Corleone marvels at things like the floridly artistic finery of the clothing fabrics – the many asters, hydrangeas and chrysanthemums that, thanks to digital experiments, repeat themselves endlessly or contort themselves into patterns so abstract that they become unrecognisable. Her response to this post-media strategy of copying and montage is, however, far more radical than Braque’s: she cuts her canvases and replaces parts of them with the patterned material. We see the thread and the zigzagging of the sewing machine that Corleone also used in her earlier works. In some places, the fabric is distorted because the textiles are mismatched.
This type of collaging emerged with Braque and the papier collé technique in the early days of modernism. Braque established analytical cubism, which confronted reality with the reality of the image and questioned the separation of the two. Corleone doesn’t even draw this distinction anymore. Her stitchings make it clear that, from the perspective of the 21st century, everything stands side-by-side on completely equal footing – the real, the digital and the painted.
Corleone’s works were also on show in the gallery last year. Her non-representational motifs clearly referred to the history of art. From abstract expressionism to colour field painting and hard edge painting, Corleone’s work assembled the fundamental movements of decades past. In doing so, she went far beyond pure citation and reactivated the power of these aesthetic languages in her own painting. At the same time, her use of collage, her interventions with neon threads, her traces of graffiti and her choice of titles like Cloud #9 situate the subjects quite unsentimentally in the present. And yet they also possess the potential for an autonomous image world capable of developing its own aesthetic.
Her latest works, however, find their references in non-artistic polyester fabrics. Andy Warhol springs to mind with the repetitive floral patterns in works such as PFF (2017) and LRB (2017), which also cite the dots used by pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein or by Sigmar Polke – a painter who was integrating towels and printed materials into his works in the 1980s. Corleone also borrows from Jackson Pollock’s drippings and, in the strict geometrical structure of FPH (2017), we think we can make out a Blinky Palermo composition – or we would if the gaudy patterns didn’t subvert the clarity and concentration of the composition.
These types of ruptures are pivotal to Corleone’s works. Her pictures build up layers of time, while a network of references holds the compositions in a state of limbo. It is impossible to look at these paintings and halt the workings of our reception machinery. The young artist is well aware of this, opens her paintings up for reflexive interpretation and, in the same moment, asserts the very opposite – that one can appreciate them intuitively just as well.

Text: Christiane Meixner
Translation: Mandana Taban