108 & Julia Benz

Two Solos
presented by Affenfaust Galerie, Hamburg 2021

In the exhibition Two Solos, the works of the two internationally successful artists come together for the first time in a dual exhibition. For instance, 108 has participated in the Venice Biennale and the Biennale of Urban Art in Moscow. Julia Benz has exhibited not only in European metropolises but also in Brazil, China, and the USA.

The Italian artist Guido Bisagni is known under the pseudonym 108. His paintings and site-specific installations are characterized by mostly black, biomorphic forms that can be discovered on paper and canvas or on a large scale on exterior and interior architectures. Those dark abstract figures occupy a large part of the artist’s works and seem to expand organically. In contrast to the biomorphic shapes, 108 also incorporates geometric forms in the form of colored or white elements into his paintings or creates them partly within the medium itself by folding the paper and allowing patterns to emerge through the folds. It is up to us as viewers to imagine what we perceive in those light-absorbing structures: maximal condensation or rather a floating emptiness? An extremely compressed or a depth-going, endless space?

An exploration of complex and abstract dimensions is also present in the paintings of artist Julia Benz. Unlike 108, she employs a variety of colors: “The darker and gloomier the times, the greater my urge for color,” says the artist. Colors signify emotions for Benz, which she juxtaposes in various forms and intensities on canvases and walls. The process of balancing the overlapping layers begins anew with each painting, described by Benz as a “struggle with the canvas.” Surfaces and lines are extended, complemented, or completely dissolved – blurring the boundaries between floral figures and abstract gestures. Benz’s spectrum of colors invites us as viewers to pause and discover subtle nuances.

19.06.2021 – 17.07.2021

Affenfaust Galerie, Hamburg

©2023 Julia Benz