Color is the main theme in this first solo exhibition by André Wendland at Galerie Droste Paris. It prevails, but also leaves some room for the subject, here the skillful, malicious and ironic observation of “gym addicts”. The artist works by theme, in a serial way. It is not that he is himself an assiduous customer of these temples of bodybuilding, but rather that he finds in them a variety of different meetings composed of human beings within numerous plastic pretexts. Subjects to an amusing and almost caricatural representation, in the original sense of the word: which deforms, to the point of leading to laughter - oftentimes not without sympathy.
Precisely this sympathy, is palpable in the large flat tints of paint, typical for the young artist: an impression of generosity and a feeling of pure joy for color, very present in oils on canvas, but equally dynamic in the small embroidered works, which form a pleasant counterpart to the paintings. These two techniques are mixed with a lot of mockery, rigor and with the happy desire to explore several ways of representation for the same theme: André Wendland, when working on a series, touches on different materials, as shown by his previous works of modeling or video.
In the end, even if the chosen subject remains a notable motivation, it is indeed the act of painting, sculpting, embroidering, touching the material and making it radiate, exist, take hold of its support that seems to dominate in the artist's creations. One feels a great cheerfulness, one sees an essential effort of the gesture transpiring in the brush that one guesses and which does not want to seek to be erased. There is something artisanal in this practice, multidisciplinary, quite free after all, in the service of a necessary humor, of a very recognizable universe and of a brush duct sometimes a little insolent, always extremely inventive and astute. MUSCLE MANIACS - no paint no gain announces well the color: if the creative act is not a sinecure, we have the right to laugh about it.
André Wendland (*1995, DE) is graduating as a master student of Tatjana Doll from the Kunst Akademie Karlsruhe. He lives and works in Karlsruhe, Germany.