For his current exhibition at Galerie Mezzanin the Berlin artist Alexander Wolff has again formulated the question about the possibilities of painting as one of context and perception. In the process he has developed his characteristic conceptual and sensuous work using paint and fabric into a transitory installation in which space, frame, picture and material interpenetrate one another. This takes place on several levels.
On show is the series "Non Commodities", 2009, fabric works with Velcro fasteners fixed on the walls, which will each be changed in configuration during the course of the exhibition. Alexander Wolff thereby continues to work on variation and dynamisation with the shaped canvas concept.
If the idea of a test arrangement within the works is put into effect here, it is simultaneously explored by the presentation of a series of works on stretched canvas (all "Untitled", 2008–2009) in relation to varying backgrounds that are fixed in the space. The backgrounds, sometimes taking up elements of the paintings, are created with various materials such as dirt, wood, textured wallpaper, plasterboard, tiles, glass and a 1960s patterned fabric from the artist's parents' house.
Alexander Wolff's choreography stipulates that all the paintings are re-hung once a week, each onto a new background. The format of these backgrounds are determined by the industry standards of the material used, the dimensions of the paintings on display or, characteristic of the artist's site-specific way of working, by the sizes of the doors and windows of the gallery architecture. As a result there are regular yet apparently inappropriate combinations – the backgrounds appear too large or disappear altogether.
As with the arrangements and work-immanent movements of "Non Commodities", instability persists with the constant changing of the exhibition. The painting enters into a series of aesthetic constellations that create a concentrated spatial situation that is open and vague yet at the same time considered.
At first glance it may be surprising that Alexander Wolff photographed graffiti for his invitation card but according to him the picture alludes to important aspects of his art production: "...the ímage, which is conditioned by its background and is accordingly fused with it. Light and shadow are the points of juncture which bring the two together. This application of light and shadow is also the basic theme of the paintings on show at the exhibition, where the over- or under-exposure of visual information makes a transition possible to another material. The seam, the borderline between materials, between you and me, the quality of a contact, of the encounter, the perception of mutual dependence."