December 1, 2018 to January 13, 2019
Ampersand is pleased to present Paradise Lost, an exhibition of wood prints, photogravures and collages by Christoph Ruckhäberle. Working in a world of figures that is purely imaginary and employing a visual language uniquely his own, Ruckhäberle continues his practice of translating his own imagery into different media. Shifts in style and sensation are thereby determined by the parameters of the process. His new collages, for instance, are made from cut up “makulatur,” a German word that refers to the wastepaper test prints and/or experiments that are byproducts in the production of his graphic works. It is a process of recycling, but also one of sampling, remixing, deconstruction and construction. If you study the pieces closely, and research paintings he has made in the past, you begin to discern a circular pattern of creation. A painting made over a decade ago is translated into a linocut, which is then cut to pieces and assembled as collage. The collage is presented as a piece in and of itself, which may also serve as a sketch for yet another new painting to be made by the artist. A similar process is at work in Ruckhäberle’s wood prints. Most akin to his recent enamel Netsuke paintings, these new puzzle prints further the practice of simplifying or abstracting figures that appear in his earliest works. Like his use of common house paint for the paintings, the prints are made with pre-mixed colors left over from client work in the print workshop. The materiality of their jigsaw origin is further echoed in the hand-cut paper forms that have been photographed and printed as colorful photogravures. The exhibition’s title, Ruckhäberle notes, refers in spirit to Paul Gauguin’s travels to Tahiti in 1891 and the work he produced thereafter (Ruckhäberle’s latest show at Thaler Originalgrafik in Leipzig was titled Noa Noa, after Gauguin’s account of the trip). The paradise Guaguin expected to find may have been lost, and perhaps can never be found, but a cut up, re-contextualized and beautifully imagined approximation has here been created.
Christoph Ruckhäberle (b. 1972) lives and works in Leipzig, Germany. He studied at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, California and Hochschule für Grafik und Buckhunst in Leipzig. In addition to his art practice, he publishes original graphic books by contemporary artists under his imprint Lubok Verlag and co-runs Luru Kino, an independent cinema. His previous exhibitions at Ampersand include NEO - NOIR and Behind the Green Door.
© 2018 Christoph Ruckhäberle and Ampersand. All Rights Reserved.