On the one hand, a deep-seated continuity appears to link all things and all events and lend them a significance that provokes wonder. Whether this continuity is seen as material or ideal, magical or rational, it gives a sense of an immanent and expansive connection – a connective tissue and consciousness extending beyond the one I. On the other, there is the feeling that things are out of control, heading in a direction that is impossible, severed and out of joint. There is a flickering between these positions in Abel Auer’s work.
Much of his art has to do with paying attention to the hidden, obscure and unknowable – that place where sheer cognition will not take us. A space not so much explored as a trajectory of escapism, but as an urgent material and spiritual necessity. The intersection, between the concrete, and that which cannot be contained within a dominant archetype of the real, not as poles but as totally interconnected parts, is central to his thinking. A thinking and making which moves between a pitch and logic of spiritual histories of the 19th and early 20th century avant-garde, and the intensity and fervour of the conspiracy, and the dark web.
This show has developed from an extended period of exchange around survivalism and modes of living with extinction, with radical unity, magic and beauty. Factor X / The Work comprises drawings and paintings, collage, video, props and materials of Auer’s – a proposition and temporary structure of existing and newly realised work.
Abel Auer (b. 1974, Munich) was a co-founder of the Hamburg-based collective Isotrop in the 1990s, followed by long-standing collaborations with artists including Kai Althoff, Dorota Jurczak and Armin Krämer. His work has been exhibited at Corvi-Mora, London; Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels; Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; P.S.1 MoMA, New York; Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, amongst others. Over the last six years, Auer has been based in Stuttgart, where he also ran the project space Staub Raum (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). From October, 2019 he is professor at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (HFBK). Auer is represented by Corvi-Mora, London; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, Galerie Jo van de Loo, Munich and Galerie für Gegenwartskunst Barbara Claassen-Schmal, Bremen.