HAAS & FISCHER is pleased to present the international premier solo show of American artist Dawn
Frasch (*1978, lives and works New York).
With the 18 paintings that are displayed in Zurich, Frasch invites the beholder into her cabinet of
sexual horror. Her works reflect the excessive confrontation with sexuality in contemporary society
that has become inevitable due to its constant presence in the Internet and media. This is true to
such an extent, that is has become a part of the everyday routine just like the daily mouse click. It is
not just the cadence of images that we are exposed to, but also the form of representation in
pornography, which have moved towards detailed, exaggerated close-ups. In this iconography of
sexual horror the boundaries between sexuality and violence seem to be diminishing.
With the painterly qualities of her work, Frasch punctuates the clash of the visual media. Some parts
of her paintings are structured by generous brush strokes while with others its seems like the focus
has been sharpened, and out of the cloudy constructs emerge delicately worked scenes with actors
that belong to a child’s book rather than to a pornographic magazine. She lets Sesame Street meet
the multimillion porn Industry.
In the work Dog Eat Dog Frasch depicts a pack of dogs that attack each other. The wild dogs that
are associated with wolfs can be read as the epitome of vice and in that way once again fit the
theme of sexual horror. The frontier between violent appropriation and lust seems to have vanished.
Influenced by feminist video and performance artists like Joan Jonas or Vivienne Dick, the artist
herself is familiar with those media. Their procedures are mirrored in her paintings, where some of
them appear to be like film stills where densely filled clusters have to balance with vague and fuzzy
Haas & Fischer
HAAS & FISCHER will inaugurate its new premises at Heinrichstrasse 219 with the group exhibition, THE LIVING ROOM. Working in collaboration with their artists, the gallery is transformed into a cosy, homey parlor complete with all the furnishings.
Upon entering the Living Room, the visitor is immersed into the intimate core of the gallery, namely its artistic program. The artists’ diverse interpretations of what constitutes a contemporary interior raise broader questions about self-conception and understanding of contemporary culture and our values.
US artist Joshua Callaghan furnishes the gallery with wallpaper imprinted with the emblem of the butcher, Angst. Callaghan juxtaposes the obvious play on words – a butcher taking as its name the German word for FEAR – with the gothic style lettering used for the company’s logo typically associated with the comforting Home Sweet Home cross-stitched panels prevalent in the typical American living room. The connotations here however, taking on quite a different meaning.
Katherine Newbegin’s photos of interiors render a double contribution to the living room theme. The two-dimensional images serve as decorative wall adornments within the gallery, while simultaneously depicting interiors themselves. Contrary to the gallery’s living room, however, Newbegin abstains from the use of staged scenes in her photography.
The painterly depiction of interiors has prevailed in art history since the 14th century, reaching its climax in Dutch painting in the 17th century. Images of 18th century interiors are viewed as a deeply middle-class genre symbolizing both private and privileged space. The traditional two-dimensional handling of interior spaces, also as practiced by Newbegin, takes on a third dimension through its presentation in the gallery.
Much to the contrary, the works by the Dutch portrait photographer Adriaan van der Ploeg desert their traditional place on the wall. The images of young backpackers aimlessly traveling en masse in Thailand are integrated into the show in such a way that they could easily be mistaken for family photos of grandchildren traveling abroad. The photos, with the atypical positioning within the gallery, take on the role of common parlor memorabilia.