Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
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16.1.2014
VIKTORS SVIKIS | NUTS AND BOLTS
painting, drawing
17th January - 8th March 2014
Opening: 16th January 2014, 6 pm
Finissage: CUT & TAKE, 8th March 2014, 1-3 pm
WHERE: Galerie Michaela Stock & NEXT DOOR galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna

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Viktor Svikis: Nuts and Bolts

"I do not pursue any agenda, any system, any direction; I do not have a programme, a style, a wish," Gerhard Richter once said and thereby voiced that typically post-modern idea which somehow also forms the basis for Viktors Svikis' artistic oeuvre to date. Born in Riga in 1978, the artist has chosen paintings and drawings as the main media to work with – in a consistently figurative way. By doing so, he fans out a spectrum of techniques and styles ranging from photo-realistic still life in oil and almost scenic mixing techniques to drawings that are reduced to comic- or graffiti-like works. All these different approaches, however, do not each mark separate stages in Svikis' progress as an artist. Instead, they coexist as equally important elements, very often in one and the same picture. This form of coexistence of different techniques and styles is also reflected in the variety of themes and subjects displayed in the artist's work. He, thus, complies with the postmodern postulate for plurality in the best possible way. The element holding his various works together is his experimental way of dealing with a concept of reality resulting from elusively perceived reality particles. The artist then playfully intertwines these particles to create sometimes cryptic combinations.

Viktors Svikis' works were once described as an art collage or an assemblage of various layers of reality. An example of this can be found in the large mixing technique called Wurfparabel (Pitch Parable) that is on display in this exhibition. While the themes in the two upper thirds of the picture follow a classically academic drawing style, the picture fades away, almost turning into notes (the mathematical formula and graph of the pitch parable) and casual, figurative scribbling. Among others, we can detect fragments of a figure holding a golf club. The golf ball is ready for the pitch. Next to it, but only an implied fragment and turned at an angle of 90 degrees, the observer becomes aware of another figure looking through a telescope. The scene – if it is actually one – absurdly seems to be set in an interior with a staircase leading outdoors. In this case, Viktors Svikis compounds the fractions of one possibly bigger ensemble without offering the observer a stringent and narrative interpretation.

The composition of different layers of content is directly reflected in the way Svikis deals with the pictorial ground of his works. Also the ground work is, first of all, based on the principle of collages. Svikis laminates the individual leaves onto cotton tissue with some parts reaching over the edge of the picture. Other parts of this paper are subsequently ripped. Pencil drawings such as Chair Networking or Playmob, therefore, reach a level of higher plasticity. In that way, he creates an impression of different, over-laying levels of reality. Such works illustrate the artist's great capability to undermine the fragile and untouchable elements that are usually connected with the medium of drawing. The exhibition focuses on Viktors Svikis' latest drawings, in which he concentrates on the tactile and haptic quality of paper. In the end, it seems only consistent that the artist has chosen an extensive drawing placed on the floor, in which a stick-like comic character is multiply represented, for his second solo exhibition at Galerie Michaela Stock. The visitors are requested to step onto the picture – so that they may overcome the distance between observer and the work of art.

(Manisha Jothady, 2013)

Viktors Svikis
press photo 1
press photo 2
press release

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