April 7, 2012
through May 5, 2012
NEW YORK, NY (February 21, 2012) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Repeat Offender, recent works by Berlin-based artist Evol, in what will be his first solo exhibition in the United States. Repeat Offender features stenciled works on cardboard and metal as well as a series of photographic print editions documenting Caspar David Friedrich Stadt, a 2009 installation project in a former slaughter house in Dresden, Germany.
Evol’s multi-layered stencil paintings on used cardboard and scrap metal portray unpopulated cityscapes. The artist carefully selects materials with a weathered appearance to use as his canvases, representing the neglected quality of low-income housing in Berlin. Evol achieves extremely convincing architectural illusions through clever incorporation of torn edges, dents, tape fragments, box markings and exposed corrugated textures. Believing the character and history of any space is worn on its façade, like scars on skin, Evol’s works convey elements of urban decay and remnants of a turbulent history in a post-wall, pre-gentrified East Berlin. In the artist’s words: “clean surfaces don’t speak to me, so recording these marks is a process of visually remembering the charm of a place that will soon be painted over.”
In addition to his studio work, Evol also creates interventions in public spaces within urban environments. Through modular rows of windows detailed with balcony railings, cables and satellite discs, Evol creates the illusion of scale-model buildings on electrical boxes and concrete slabs on the streets of cities around the world. “Despite their photographic precision, Evol’s paintings aren’t merely exercises in geometric representation. Nor are they cynical critiques of the isolation and confinement that can accompany metropolitan life. Instead, they reveal a profound fascination with the narratives embedded in the city’s surfaces and an overwhelming belief in the humanity inherent to the collective urban condition”— Emilie Trice
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Evol was born in 1972 in Heilbronn, Germany. He received a degree in product design and moved to Berlin in 2000, where he is currently based. In 2010, Evol was nominated for the Premio Lissone Prize at Museo d’arte Contemporanea in Lissone, Italy and won the Arte Prize at Slick Art Fair in Paris, France. In 2010, his was the first solo exhibition to take place in the German pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai. In 2011, his work was exhibited at the Moscow Biennale. In the summer of 2011, Evol was invited to create a site-specific installation during the MS Dockville art and music festival in Hamburg, Germany. As the festival took place in a grassy meadow, with no urban structures, he improvised by building Nordkreuz. Carving a 10 meter cross section into the ground (about 1.5 meters deep), Evol created the illusion of an excavated underground intersection of buildings, with a narrow path for viewers to walk through the simulated “streets” between them. The resulting experience was a metaphorical contrast between an idyllic green open space and the exposed dystopian under crust, hidden beneath.