The Space Between during Frieze Art Fair 2015 in New York

German gallery Circle Culture is proud to introduce new works by Austrian conceptual artist Anneliese Schrenk at Lower East Side Gallery from May 13th until 24th, 2015. The exhibition will display an installation of process based paintings as well as sculptural work, which embodies Schrenk’s continuous investigation of the phenomenon “skin”, considered as both connection and delimitation between all beings, space and things.

Anneliese Schrenk’s work is primarily based on the material leather. She creates images from hide – from thick, tanned cow hide – on which the scars, the swelling and the meridians of a living body can still subtly be seen. The leather hide that she frequently uses is so-called “Dyed Cruft”. These hides exhibit too many natural features or processing errors from the factory and therefore have been discarded to be used in the manufacture of furniture, shoes or the like. Lines, furrows, scratches or holes are thus recurring motifs in Anneliese Schrenk’s visual world.

The work by Anneliese Schrenk, who holds a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, constitutes an analysis of material and form. She streches the leather hides like canvases, but by being uneven and thick, they depict both painting and object. The artist also manipulates them with water, heat, acid, shoe polish and thus adds new traces to the given surfaces. In her works on paper she treats the material until it has the effect of leather. Hides get sanded, cut or folded and crumpled in wet state to then harden as coincidentally deformed or intentionally layered objects. In all of these works the skin – as a natural part and trace of life – causes an irritating presence that addresses all senses.

The presented works adopt the concepts of ‘traditional’ art disciplines: Marks and discolorations of the rejected leather hides perform as abstract gestures which let the imagery appear to be pure painting. The arising, very unique texture is then again incorporated in Schrenk’s works on paper. Therefore she uses the technique of frottage, which through Max Ernst was accepted into the canon of art terms. For this Schrenk traces different materials and textures: Whether pebbles or pavement, the graphite pencil by tracing the unevenness as a result is giving the works a depth effect and a texture. On this note, Schrenk refers to further senses of “skin”: the works on paper reproduce the lifelines of streets and buildings, of the space that surrounds one and all. A strong ambiguity appears also in the cut leather pieces: streched through space, they blur the boundaries between expansive installations and three-dimensional drawings.

The treatment of the leather hides – the connection to the body is literal – can border on violence, yet the result is always controlled, formal and ultimately serene. Anneliese Schrenk’s work thus remains on the threshold between objects and abstract gestures, between passed liveliness and absolute presence.