Among the new and apparently unfathomable movements-to-be in the current European art we witness a return and a fresh take on abstract art. Its origin is rooted in the New—Muralism of the early ‘00s and its future seems to point towards a clear direction which digests and re-interpret Suprematism, Abstract Expressionism and Constructivism. With a range of directions as variegated as the different artists and nationalities involved but with a solid ground of shared ideas this movement is gaining a relevancy impossible to ignore and Clemens Behr is surely one the most interesting artist being part of it.
Deeply rooted in mural art at the beginning of his career, Clemens Behr has soon parted from it setting a route which is now one of the most unique and recognisable in this new movement. From wall—painting his practice soon turned mostly towards installation and sculpture with a classic yet revolutionary approach compared to the recent art tradition. In fact, the nature of his works is strongly object—related and his relationship with craftsmanship and materials is a focal point of his practice where building materials and bare surfaces like neon lights, wood, metal, glass and mirrors find a new life in their thoughtful juxtaposition.
Behr’s art is minimalistic and chaotic at once, elegant abstract lines emerge from the perfectly balanced but poetically dynamic compositions while the everyday building materials he uses bring a modernist and post—industrialised look to his oeuvre which warms by contrast the soul of his constructions. The Constructivist ideas that inform his production are juxtaposed to a conceptual approach to materials as the austerity of his art language clashes in a unique way with the everyday objects which are bent into art by his hands.
Documented Documents originates from the recent focus that the artist has put on the on—site and often time—limited nature of his installations, slowly moving the attention from the final objects towards the very life of the creation, as to — using Behr’s own words — “emphasise all the states between the idea and the destruction, between loose materials and final product. The aim is to erase the final product and fuse sculpture, documentation, painting and photography. And, as time is a relevant component, I think I am trying to include it in a formal way into the works.”
With a selection of artworks from his most recent production, a number of them created on site and reanalysed and exhibited in their own process through a deep layering of documentation, photography and painting, Documented Documents won’t be only a unique occasion to appreciate for the first time in Gothenburg the practice of Clemens Behr, but also an opportunity to witness a new step in his art production.
Clemens Behr (1985, Koblenz) is a German artist best know for his multimedia and installative approach to Contemporary abstract art. With an already impressive curriculum for a young artist including more than 15 solo shows in the last 6 years and appearances on festivals and surveys in more than 20 Countries, from Australia to Morocco passing from India, Brazil and USA, Behr is surely one of the most interesting uprising new artists in Europe.