Kai Matsumiya Gallery | 153 1/2 Stanton Street
Kai Matsumiya presents the US debut of the Vienna-based artist, Siggi Hofer, in a solo exhibition titled “My Mother Sold Cigarettes in the Mountains”. The title references the show's thematic spirit, one which presents unending loops, an abundance of the shape/letter/symbol “x”, and text-based paintings in varying configurations throughout the gallery’s space. Signs run across the exhibition where both being and meaning are conveyed simultaneously while remaining incomplete.
Revelations, slogans, half-thoughts, and cultural subjectivities such as “I LOST MY ENGLISH IN A CAR ACCIDENT”, “OH HEAVEN SIX CHILDREN AND NO BREAD" scrawl across the canvasses applied with brightly-colored oil pastel. According to the artist, the text represents an interplay between truth and fictional accounts in which thought-utterances and grammatical constructions share a tendentious relationship; i.e. “Death is Not Nothing”, “DENIS IS A FIRST GAY CLUB IN CROATIA THAT STARTED SUCH PARTIES" ; “WE WORK HARD ”; "THIS IS NOT FAIR"
A polyphony of diverse personal, psychological, social, and economic realities scrawl across the walls and floor of the space. The text itself appears all completed, refined, undone, and stopped in various areas of each text-based work. Hofer’s paradoxical aesthetic repertoire includes skilled draftsmanship which equally celebrates accidents and errors. Whether such words convey declarations from fairy tale logic, drunken phrases from a despondent passersby at the club, or blurbs evoked from any fictional philosopher, such negotiations and conflicts are yet executed within the self-contained demarcations of the canvas. These words spill into the world of both the physical space and psychological/social biography of the viewer. The words sing, scream, dance, and rebel across the spectra of linguistic and aesthetic structures. All concepts are twisted and never fully-cooked.
The employment of the simple “X”s represent a new development for the artist and will be clustered in varying spots in two color configurations; the black or multicolored Xs represent letters and numbers; they censor and confound; obfuscate and reveal; and urge pursuits and lost causes among worldly and artistic practices. These Xs break apart and in a few cases physically conjoin the works on display.
Finally, the last body of work resembling unending and unified loops unite the first two, both aesthetically and functionally. Employed on both the floors (oil pastel on wood) and the walls (oil pastel on paper), these loops (all untitled works), complete the many word fragments and interventions of the Xs which in turn serve as the link between the start and finish. These works, in turn, are titled after years between 1970-2015; i.e. "1998”/2015 New York" and "1999”/2015 New York". A certain serialization is established as My Mother Sold Cigarettes in the Mountains follows his most recent exhibition titled WOOF 1970 – 1992 u. 2014 at Galerie Meyer Kainer in Vienna (2014). The loops return to the entirety of the space, all in terms of content and structure, in which all themes are unified, infinitely continuous,and never broken.
Siggi Hofer is a Vienna-based artist represented by Galerie Mayer Kainer in Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include the critically acclaimed exhibitions Woof/ 1970-1992 u. 2014 at Galerie Mayer Kainer in Vienna, LAB at ES-Gallery in Merano/Meran, and I wish I where a stone at Temporary Gallery in Cologne. He is the recipient of the Award for Art Practice of the City of Innsbruck, Austria (2012), the Paula Flora Award (2010), and the 2009 Msgr. Otto Mauer Award, Vienna. Currently, Siggi Hofer is completing his residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York, which concludes late July before he returns to Vienna.
My Mother Sold Cigarettes in the Mountains opens on Thursday, May 21st (7-9pm). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 617 678 4440 for more details.
Wed - Sun 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM