Pocket Utopia is pleased to present Das Ornament, a solo exhibition of work by German artist Anton Würth. This is Würth’s second solo show in New York. His first, in 2007, at C.G. Boerner gallery in New York, comprised an artistic dialogue with the seventeenth-century French printmaker Robert Nanteuil. This visual inquiry into modes of representation led Würth to examine the role of ornament both historically and conceptually. His continuing investigations of this subject remain the focus of his exhibition at Pocket Utopia.
Würth works nearly exclusively as a printmaker, and here he chooses the often complex and unforgiving technique of engraving as his medium. But the fluidity and whimsical playfulness of his lines betray nothing of the arduous process of their creation. The apparent arbitrariness of the ornament allows the artist to explore the nature of representation and analyze the ways in which signs can stand in for something else—as well as the inherent limitations of such signs. Just as the image of the king stood as a placeholder for the absent monarch, any figurative image creates the illusion of the subject it depicts. Würth offers an alternative to this model, seeing ornamental forms not as embellishments but as autonomous images. However, by creating ornament through the highly controlled and precise line of engraving, the medium itself becomes an expression of the never-ending interplay between form and content. It is this interplay that makes representation work and—through the conceptual openness of the ornament—puts it into question at the same time.
Anton Würth (b. 1957 Oberstdorf, Germany) is internationally recognized for his intaglio prints and artist’s books. He studied graphic design, with an emphasis on typography and book illustration, at the Fachhochschule Augsburg. In 2007, Würth had solos shows at C.G. Boerner gallery in Düsseldorf and New York as well as at the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach in spring 2012. His work has been presented in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as well as at the San Francisco Public Library and The Print Center in Philadelphia. Würth’s art is also represented in various major collections, among them those of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York; the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, MA; the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.; the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum in London; the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg; the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach; and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.
Pocket Utopia is located at 191 Henry Street between Clinton and Jefferson Streets in New York City. For further information or visuals please call Austin Thomas at 212-375-8532 or visit www.pocketutopia.com.
“Das Ornament” is his first solo show at Pocket Utopia.