Kathrin Köster

A fold is a beautifully strange thing, seemingly out of sight of everyday struggles. In the banal moments of life, it can sometimes be almost invisible – a crumpled pillow after a long night, or a wrinkled shirt when you’d like to look just fine. Other times, it can be almost substantial – to fold the corner of a books page, so that we don‘t forget where we last left off our reading, or a creasy banknote found in the pocket when you least expect it. At a more abstract level, however, a fold can imply a lot of things – unfolding or concealment, repetition and multiplication, temporariness and instability. Or, on the contrary, it can as well be a metaphor of endless possibilities and variabilities, or of natural geometry – that of sea waves, rocks and sediments, wind and fire.


The above mentioned metaphors of a fold or folded and layered matter could maybe be perceived as the inspiration for the exhibition project ex plica in sepia mania, which the German artist Kathrin Köster prepared for Kostka Gallery. In her practice, she often explores the relationship between space in its general meaning, and a place or architecture as specific variations of it. Her installations are turning towards the viewer, creating a space for body and his physical confrontation with the work or the surrounding environment. Köster approaches all of these through painting. Painting becomes the one point from which she further elaborates the above mentioned.


Ex plica in sepia mania is developing her recent works, where she has experimented with painting on loose fabrics. Thousands and thousands of folds are creating a structure of the large-format paintings hanging from the ceiling of the gallery, and make it a spetial kind of spatial fabric origami. The multiplicity and variability of both small and large fragments of the almost monochrome painting, and the loose, flexible form are on one side attrackting the viewer to its gentleness, almost beckoning him to touch it. But the monumentality of the hanging canvases are creating a silent but active tension between the subtle patterns and distinctive format of the curtain. Köster’s canvas is welcoming the viewer in a vivid radius, while it is as well creating space for other two visual pieces: author’s book and a stencil sprayed on a nearby wall. This asymmetric deployment of the three communicating parts meet in the basic point – each of these pieces is silently saying „plica ex plica”, each of the fold follows another fold.


by Zuzana Jakalová, Prague 2014

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