Anton Kern Gallery, NY


Anton Kern Gallery

Lothar Hempel from 'Suedehead'

Along the road a mile of two is Chelsea’s bustling arts quarter and within that is Anton Kern gallery who will be showing a collection of work by Jim Lambie next month – as I write Jim’s work is currently being manufactured for shipping out by Glasgow’s foremost makers of artists work, Scott Associates. Their current exhibition is by Lothar Hempel, based in Berlin – an eclectic display of sculpture, paintings on aluminium and three-diamond shaped photo-montages. The title of the show is ‘Suedehead’ after the cult pulp fiction book by Richard Allen, and a reference to an early 1970s subculture. The work combines a range of material from blown up photographs on metal, cast concrete, and other elements. The press release is also very flowery, but it’s appropriate: ‘The bold colors, the hardedge qualities of the materials and the use of manufactured, rather than hand-shaped forms speak to the character of the work and the artistʼs intention. While the title refers to a past (yet, uncannily timely!) moment of youth dissatisfaction and aggression transformed into the nuanced and ambiguous style of the Suedheads with their grown-out Skinhead crop, dapper Hard Mod clothing, and latent hostility and demi-monde aloofness. It is Hempelʼs skilled language of combinatorial synthesis that allows the viewer to look beyond the intricacies of subcultural signifiers and to enter a world of body language and abstraction. Elegant modern dance poses meet thuggish posturing and swagger, while both coexist on a stage of extensive artifice and cunning craft.’

Lothar Hempel from 'Suedehead'

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