Issue no. 36
Cornelius Völker
In the Last Light
25 February - 19 March 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday February 26, 3-5 pm
Kerze mit Eingelegtem (Candle with Pickles), 2021, oil on canvas, 74 3/4 x 59 1/8 inches
Cornelius Völker explores the thorny relationships we humans have with nature and time in a series of paintings that, while rooted in conventions of historical European painting, are eminently contemporary.
Blätter (Leaves), 2021, oil on canvas, 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 inches
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a group of heroically-scaled works of luxuriant foliage. Theatrically illuminated, the vegetation emerges out of gloom. The paint is exuberantly brushy and the colors unnatural, making the work simultaneously luscious, psychedelic and somewhat ominous. No sun dappled garden or picturesque vista here; these look like the densely tangled forest in which Hansel and Gretel got lost.
Blätter (Leaves), 2021, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 inches, installation view
Kerze mit Spargel (Candle with Asparagus), 2021, oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches
Paired with the unorthodox landscapes in this show are still life paintings akin to those of the golden age of Dutch painting. Jars of pickled foodstuffs — cucumbers, herring filets, beets and white asparagus — glow softly in the shimmer of a candle stub. In other paintings, a kidney floats in a dusty specimen jar or two hearts lie next to one another under a harsh light.
Zwei Herzen (Two Hearts), 2021, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 39 3/8 inches
Dutch stilleven, meaning “motionless” or “silent,” were carefully staged arrangements of perishable foods — ripe fruit, sumptuous shellfish, oysters and meats — laid out on Chinese porcelain and polished silver, arranged with flowers and Venetian glass, and displayed on a Turkish rug-draped table. Celebrations of opulence, material beauty and sensuality, their message is that life is brief; live it while you can.
Herring, 2021, oil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 29 1/2 inches
But they’re also paintings about lavish consumption. In the 17th century, the Low Countries exploded economically. The newly rich merchant class was eager to show off the luxury their global commerce-based wealth was able to purchase. This was the first international, consumer-based culture, and they pursued it with abandon.

As the Dutch paintings reflect the social and cultural climate of their time, Cornelius Völker’s paintings mirror contemporary concerns.
Vase (Vase), 2021, oil on canvas, 86 5/8 x 43 1/4 inches, installation view
Our relationship to nature has never been simple. We rely on the natural world for resources, while we exploit and defile it. We romanticize nature, but most of us are completely cut off from it. We fret over global warming and the extinction of species, yet are unwilling to make the inconvenient personal choices that would make a difference. With rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, pandemics and perpetual wild fire seasons, nature, in the 21st century, may prove more threatening that ever. The Blätter (Leaves) paintings reflect this ambivalence – both seductively beautiful and anxiety provoking.
Blätter (Leaves), 2021, oil on canvas, 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 inches
And while Völker’s burning candle signals the inevitable passage of time, the jarred condiments allude to our attempt to stop it. In these pictures, the food never spoils. But neither is it mouthwatering, sumptuous or exotic. It’s cheap, mass-produced and sterile in its brine. How dulled by lives of affluence have we become? Are we so obsessed with youth, with arresting time and living forever, that we never actually taste life?
Kerze mit Eingelegtem (Candle with Pickles), 2021 (detail), oil on canvas, 74 3/4 x 59 1/8 inches
Cornelius Völker was born in Kronach, Germany in 1965 and studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is a professor of painting at the Kunstakademie Münster. His work has been the subject of many solo museum shows throughout Germany and Europe. This is his third solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery.

Click here to view the exhibition checklist.
Portrait of the Artist's Studio
by Cornelius Völker
Shot by the artist himself, these photographs are a window into his working environment as well as his aesthetics.
Recent Press
Angelina Pwerle, Bush Plum - diptych, 2018, acrylic on linen, 59 1/2 x 96 inches
From the Financial Times:

... Angelina Pwerle (Pull-uh) is the cult favourite - one on whom a growing number of institutions and collectors are quietly placing bets. Thought to be about 75 years old (there is no paper record of her birth), she has been developing her assured and remarkably detailed style of dot-work since the 1990s. Her paintings, which conjure images of distant galaxies, cloud formations and geological phenomena, practically hum with energy.
– Dan Stapleton

In praise of Australian Aboriginal art – ‘the oldest surviving culture in the world’

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read the article
From the San Francisco Examiner:

Paint, especially when used as sparingly and exactingly as Rubin applies it, accentuates the ephemeral nature of the photograph and introduces something that’s missing from all that silver gelatin and digital gloss: humanity. Photographs are stalwart. Human memories are not; they are unreliable and freighted with emotional inflection.
- Max Blue
Gideon Rubin Show is like a Haunted House of Images Real and Imagined

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From Galerie Magazine:

Powerfully capturing his subjects with just a few sure brushstrokes, Gideon Rubin sensually portrays faceless figures and repeated elements of fashion in the recent paintings on view in his seventh one-person exhibition with Hosfelt Gallery.
- Paul Laster
7 Must See Art Exhibitions

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The Getty Research Institute Acquires
Max Gimblett Artist Book Collection
The Getty Research Institute’s internationally renowned Artist’s Book Collection has acquired the entire archive of Max Gimblett’s artist’s books, consisting of more than 250 unique volumes of sketchbooks, journals, and limited edition publications.
“I began writing and drawing in second-hand books when I was seven years old. Working in sketchbooks and journals has been the consistent and constant thread throughout my life,” Gimblett said. “Taken together as an archive and including Gimblett’s personal comments and sketches, these artist’s books portray a metaphysical richness of images and ideas,” said Marcia Reed, Associate Director and Chief Curator at the GRI. “Far from casual jottings, these are carefully composed, supplemented over time, and specifically dated as the artist returns to them.”
Click here to read the full press release.
William T. Wiley: Current Museum Exhibitions
William T. Wiley, Curvy Urinehives, 1967, watercolor and ink on paper, 18 x 24 inches
William T. Wiley and the Slant Step: All on the Line
Manetti Shrem Museum
January - May 2022

William T. Wiley: & So...
Bolinas Museum
February 5 - April 3, 2022

What Is Art For?
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
February 5 - March 20, 2022
William T. Wiley, Point Bone Eater, 2007, watercolor and ink on paper, 20 x 14 inches
We Recommend
Our whole, unruly selves, 2022, pictured in the foreground: Tim Hawkinson's Scout
Photo by J. Arnold, JKA Photography. Courtesy of San José Museum of Art
Our whole, unruly selves
San Jose Museum of Art
In Our whole, unruly selves, Senior Curator Lauren Schell Dickens celebrates the boundlessness of human beings through an exploration of artistic figuration. The human form has inspired artists throughout history, and the desire to represent and respond to the nuanced experience of existing within a specific body continues to drive new visual languages and approaches. While the inclusion of underrepresented bodies has been a critical step in diversifying museum walls and collections, many artists who experience oppression and erasure—whether due to race, sexual orientation, disability, or immigration status—resist or recast the burden of representation, as the pressures of both hypervisibility and invisibility can eclipse the complexity of lived experience.

Centering artists of color as well as queer, immigrant, disabled, and undocumented artists, Our whole, unruly selves features over 90 works from the 1960s to the present, largely drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection.
Rina Banerjee, Captured as hostage, a threat from sky, hide or you may die, sit in reverse position, fold back your legs, pinned in the mother shepard’s carpet, with for tides that stay up high why why my mother’s wild nature opens and cleanse, cleared me a place to stay not hide, 2019, acrylic, gold leaf, silver leaf, faux fur and false eyelashes on paper, 30 x 22 inches, Courtesy of the San Jose Museum of Art. Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Acquisitions Committee, 2019.04
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