Jutta Koether: 4 the Team

Jutta Koether

Lévy Gorvy, New York

February 27 - April 18, 2020

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Lévy Gorvy presented its debut exhibition of Jutta Koether in 2020. Spanning all three floors of the gallery’s landmark building at 909 Madison Avenue, the exhibition featured new paintings alongside a selection of key canvases from the early 1980s to 1990. Departing from the question of what it means to paint, and to continue painting, in the present moment, Koether adopts a fluid authorial position. Mining the discourses of appropriation that shaped Cologne culture in the ’80s, as well as those that she encountered when she moved to New York in 1991, she makes them her own, constructing an eclectic artistic genealogy that runs from early-modern perspective painting through Symbolism, Post-Impressionism, and Surrealism. She layers these allusions with a recurring repertoire of motifs, including pixelated grids, vibrant red paint, and unfurling ribbons. The meaning of these tropes is insistent but elusive, at once historically layered and negotiated anew by each viewer who encounters Koether’s canvases. Engaging with both the medium’s past and its unfolding present, Koether foregrounds affect, asynchrony, and dissonance, clearing a new and distinctly contemporary space for painting.