Roberts & Tilton is pleased to announce Alcohol Works, the first United States solo-exhibition of Cologne, Germany based artist, Thomas Wachholz. Alcohol Works will comprise of a series of large format digital paintings printed in the CMYK primaries, which are then erased with ethanol. Situated in contrast to one another, the works unfurl themselves in a highly diverse manner. Despite the concept and its serial effectuation, infinite outcomes of maelstrom all pressure beneath the surface of each print dithering omission and formation.
Wachholz responds to the longstanding German tradition of printing and printmaking processes by introducing a unique alchemic procedure that intervenes between the ascetic delegation of rules issued by the artist's hand and those automated by the machine. Discrepancies between mechanized designations and those of individual intuit emerge through the creation of various monochrome surfaces which both distinguish the machine's production of a flawless surface, as well as the process of decision making involved in the artists interpretation of perfection. Wachholz challenges systems of accurate automation by inserting his own systemic application of regimens, which function to bluntly preform a highly calculated eradication of the mechanical. The application of the print is appointed digitally, but the removal is analog, a simple working off the canvas.
At the foreground, an exchange of criterion develops into a repartee of occupation versus void, content versus erasure, creation versus annihilation, validity versus what is null. Through both the rendering and erasing of the image, the viewer is left to question what is left of the surface: the printing, the machines, the perfection therein, all the deterrence of that which is perfect and functioning, and the fascination for it. Below the surface lies an internal questioning of the media
The color, which had monochromatically covered the canvas by means of multi-layered superimposition of particles, is comminuted. Its remains have dissolved into the structure of the canvas as a grid of traces. Through the multiplication of the colors’ possibilities and the aggressiveness of the alcohol, it is only the rules that grant permission to create these works in such a manner. The rigidity of the procedure both reduces and determines the possibilities of the works, in feat to treat order from noise. The execution of Wachholz’s process permits the canvas to enter a locale aloof from painting, to rather a paradoxical advancement of eradication and subtraction. Through this seemingly compulsion of erasure, the works critique and question process, decisions, and systems of rules.
Thomas Wachholz (b. 1984) lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Wachholz continues his Fine Arts studies under Katharina Grosse and Marcel Odenbach at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 2011, Thomas Wachholz received his Hochschulabschluss Diplom in Design in from Studium Kommunikationsdesign, Düsseldorf, Germany.