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De Brock is pleased to present its first exhibition with David Ostrowski, opening on April 13th.

Towards the end of his time studying at the Düsseldorf Art Academy under Albert Oehlen, in an act of somewhat poetic prophetic fallacy, David Ostrowski lost almost every painting he had produced in a fire at his studio. Ever since, the Cologne native has been attempting to approach painterly reduction, a particular position of artistic oblivion unbeholden to any cultural canon or historic precedent.

A post-minimalist post-conceptualist, whose work will occasionally appear to engage in methods adopted by the Abstract Expressionists, Ostrowski aims to eliminate all interpretation through a systematic examination of reduction through addition. Ostrowski builds up layers of commonplace emulsion or blue spray paint, often over a matter of years, as indicated by his diligent dating structure. Their only intermittent additions are everyday materials scavenged from the artist’s studio, such as scraps of paper, cardboard, or textile. As Ostrowski himself once stated, “I strive to trigger the greatest possible emotional affects with the least possible means“. While incidental improvisational symbols, characters or forms may appear amongst the layers, Ostrowski works in series, using each to work through themes: from gestural, abstract work groups to more figurative, representational ones.

For his solo exhibition at De Brock, Ostrowski presents the eight-part artwork Portraits (2007-2023), demonstrating both his adamant advocation for the longevity of production and his ongoing investigation into colors, with mostly monochromatic panels of unremarkable muted tones. With the awareness that each color is charged with emotions and plays an important role in psychology, Ostrowski uses very specific colors and examines them. A selection of recent paintings from the artist’s F series is shown alongside the pivotal work. While Ostrowski is primarily interested in the form of the eponymous letter, it subliminally evokes a plethora of connotations, such as Fehlermalerei (Failure Painting). For the first time in his artistic oeuvre, Ostrowski has paired off several paintings into diptychs. The baseboards, which frame the works, allude to the artist’s architectural thinking, as he uses the placement of his works as interventions within the exhibition room to create painterly spaces.

Now a professor in painting at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe, Ostrowski recognizes and rejects painting’s position as a historic medium, attempting instead to allow for an artistic experience unbound by any prior perception or painterly appreciation. Challenging traditional approaches to painting, Ostrowski has developed a distinct painterly language. Exhibitions of his work have been staged at the Arken Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen, 2015) and the Leopold Hoesch Museum (Düren, 2016), and paintings residing in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and the Rubell Family Collection.

The opening reception will be held from 6 till 8 pm, please email us for more information.