Opening: June 26, 2020   I    11-22 H  (by personal timeslot > exhibition@kuk.gallery or 0049 176 49308831)

In his second solo exhibition at KuK Gallery, Paul Weiner oscillates between bluntly populist text and nuanced, formalist abstraction. With his process interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Weiner’s exhibition provokes timely conversations about corporate control, worker power, civil rights, technology, hegemonic power, and escapism.

With his process interrupted by COVID-19, Weiner presents raw statements about class power and solidarity that respond to the state of the economic and biological crisis. These text works co-opt Weiner’s long-standing charcoal aesthetic and obsession with violent mark making, responding in real time to a changing society and wondering out loud how society will look when the crisis ends. One excerpt of these works reads ‘FEAR RENT STRIKE SURVEILLANCE DATA MONOPOLY SICK PROTECTION AUTHORITY PROFIT PRIVATE EQUITY STAY HOME CONTROL’. 

Weiner’s Void paintings, primarily made before the coronavirus became ubiquitous, consist of impasto black oil paint and graphite on canvas. The works are coyly titled after escapist activities as in VOID (COUNTRY CLUB     ) and VOID (EQUESTRIAN ). Deftly painted alla-prima, the shimmering works appear as mature formalism even as they evince a purposeful vapidity cutting to the core of the art world’s commercial obsession with trading card minimalism and wealth signifiers. Weiner’s blacked out American flag paintings loom over the exhibition, suggesting a declining empire failing spectacularly to respond to 21st century challenges. Alongside these flags, Weiner presents prints of recent US government and internal corporate documents detailing technological geopolitics, US/China tensions, surveillance, and artificial intelligence races. This exhibition continues Weiner’s conceptual history of corporate skepticism following recent exhibitions addressing mass violence and military industrial complex profiteering in exhibitions at Athens Institute for Contemporary Art and Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art. 

Paul Weiner was born in Aurora, Colorado in 1993. He received a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 2015. His primary focus is a form of abstract painting that is imbued with political and social meaning, simultaneously riffing on neo-expressionism and post-conceptual painting. Many of his recent paintings and sculptures grapple with America’s contemporary identity and history, generating abstract, obscured, and distressed representations of a culture in flux. He is also known for his site-specific social media paintings, which can be found on Instagram. Weiner’s paintings contain a library of symbols that refer to the American flag, art history, cultural hybridity sports, folk history, the legal system, and the military industrial complex. 

TEXT for the press >>