4 parts: various dimensions
Dispersion paint, acrylic glass, metal
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by the bequest of Elisabeth Lauener
Wandbemalung (RAL 9005 tiefschwarz), je 50 x 300 cm, Gesamthöhe 240 cm / Plexiglas-Objekt, 2-tlg., 75.5 x 92.5 x 0.6 cm (GS Rot 3C50), Metallschrauben, Unterlegscheiben [Wall painting (RAL 9005 deep black), each 50 x 300 cm, total height 240 cm / acr
In the mid-1980s, Gerwald Rockenschaub (born 1952 in Linz, Austria) was one of the stars of Neo-Geo painting, today an all but forgotten movement in which the aesthetics of American Minimal Art permeate the consumerist approach of Pop Art. In addition to being an artist, Rockenschaub was also a successful DJ in the club scene for many years, and the omnipresent sampling technique in the music of the late 1980s (the beginning of techno music) also inspired him to change his working method as a visual artist. Instead of oil paint, he began working with Plexiglas, plastic foils, aluminum, PVC, and other industrial materials.
Rockenschaub uses computer programs to design installations, objects, and pictures, which he then has produced by specialized companies and craftsmen. The end products include inflatable walls, colorful pillow-like PVC cushions, or transparent cubes. Many of his large pictures are covered with abstract signs and patterns that are reminiscent of logos from the techno scene and art historical motifs.
His work in the collection of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv consists of a large wall painting, in the middle of which two Plexiglas panels with holes are overlaid on top of each other, thus blending the colors of the panels into new hues. The somewhat prosaic title stresses the industrial and technical aspect of Rockenschaub’s work.
In a time long before crossover meant “anything goes,” Rockenschaub’s aesthetic practice revolved around merging club culture, pop culture, and the art scene. His more recent works continue to combine the clear aesthetic forms characteristic of Neo-Geo with specific questions of context. As such, they refer to the ideas and positions of modernism as much as they do to the phenomena of everyday culture. Rockenschaub explains this reduction to essential elements in the following: “I use simple, clear forms or elements and strong color contrasts in my works to catch the eye and to play with visual meanings, associations, breaks, and so forth. I try to find a simple and precise yet complex concept in my diverse works to achieve the greatest possible conciseness.”
Gerwald Rockenschaub, in “Gerwald Rockenschaub. Swing,” exhibition catalogue (Kunsthalle Bern 2008), p. 24.
Dominique von Burg