Daniel Birnbaum, Sven-Olov Wallenstein
|Jos de Gruyter & Harald ThysFine Arts|
Fine Arts continues Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’s playful and dystopic approach to depicting the human condition. The artist duo became watercolorists for the project, harping back to an early amateur pictorial tradition while basing their picture making on a range of quotidian and historical images culled from the Internet. Deadpan images of the banal and the fanciful accompany the grievous and the tragic, without comment. Nostalgia and innocence are dimly stirred and questioned. Although the genre of the watercolorist, and its association with pastoral and colonialist scenes, may be considered outdated, the contemporary mode of sourcing the images implies that these pictures might not be matters of the past. This book brings together the collection of over ninety watercolors in a glossy format reminiscent of a picture book or auction house catalogue.
Copublished with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; MoMA PS1, New York; and Raven Row, London, on the occasion of the eponymous traveling exhibition in 2015.