Rüdiger Schöttle

Florian Süssmayr

09 Nov 2012 - 12 Jan 2013

Installation view
Landscapes and Portraits
9 November 2012 – 12 January 2013

The Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery is pleased to announce a further presentation of the works of the Munich artist Florian Süssmayr. He will be showing new paintings devoted to the themes of landscape and portrait and combining them with text-based paintings.
What are the traces left behind by violence, war and excess? What mark does history leave on landscapes and people? Do man and nature show the violence they have suffered?
Florian Süssmayr describes the consequences of actions that took place in the past but left their mark on people and places. Mostly there is nothing tangible to be seen. While his early “Colour and Football Fields” describe a football match, all they show is a deserted field. His interiors, with their lonesome tables and chairs, are places where something has taken place, something that can still be sensed but is no longer visible.
Some landscapes from his new series are titled “Unknown Place, Poland” and stand for unknown victims in unknown places. On one of the paintings one can see dead dogs strewn over the ground, while another one depicts a battle trench, but most of them immediately convey a sense of destruction without such associative motifs.
Florian Süssmayr paints from photographic source material, which he finds in magazines and books, and also from the photographs he himself takes with his mobile camera, capturing the play of light and shadow in the treetops, a brief glint of sunlight through the leaves causing the eye to blink, or, when out driving, a dismal urban landscape caught by no more than a casual glance. The commonplace is aestheticized: “The themes are simple, perhaps even cheerless; they show a certain attitude. Scepticism. Aloofness. It is something rather gloomy, aggressive, that seems to take over. And it’s about everyday, commonplace things. Most of the motifs are unspectacular. [...] Basically I simply find my motifs, that is to say, I find an excerpt from my own world. It's all a matter of seeing and recognizing.” (Florian Süssmayr, 2005)
For their part, the portraits depict protagonists in two senses, protagonists of violence and crime, such as “The Laughing Man”, Siegfried “Kongo” Müller, a brutal mercenary leader during the 1960s, or the members of the Manson family, a murderous hippie commune that was responsible for a multitude of felonies and murders towards the end of the 1960s, and protagonists of culture: the filmmakers Kurt Kren, Stan Brakhage, Joe Weerasethakul; Michel Houellebecq; The Slits; Dee Dee Ramone, Zoe Lund and, as a mixture of both kinds of protagonism, Otto Mühl in small format.
Visitors will already be curious about his spatial interventions in the gallery’s interior, especially those who are familiar with earlier exhibitions. In the underpass of the Maximiliansforum in Munich, for example, he papered the few untiled walls with a tile-patterned wallpaper. A gallery room in New York was transformed – in collaboration with the artist Martin Wöhrl – into a kind of railway station waiting room. During their making, Florian Süssmayr’s paintings pass through a variety of different media: painted photographs are wallpapered, re-photographed, painted, copied, resulting in changes that forever invite questions as to the painting’s essence.
The aforementioned landscapes and portraits will alternate with text-based paintings from the two series “The 20 Best Songs of the Ramones” and Ed Wood’s “My Next Work Will Be Better”.
Florian Süssmayr was born in 1963. Entirely self-taught, he began to paint at the end of the 1990s, having first experimented in photography and various printing techniques. Numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, the USA and Japan have brought him international recognition. Süssmayr lives and works in Munich.

Tags: Stan Brakhage, Otto Mühl, Florian Süssmayr, Martin Wöhrl