Nana Dix : Color Me Beautiful

Exhibition March 8 until April 14, 2012 // ANDREAS GRIMM MUNCHEN // Munich

The exhibition showcases new paintings and works on paper. The artist was born in 1962 in Munich and studied Industrial Design at the Fachhochschule (1984 - 85) as well as Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (1985 – 89). Nana Dix lives and works in Munich.

In 2008 Nana Dix amazed the public in New York with an exhibition of multilayered collages that she painted over. The raw material she used for her collages were snippets of lifestyle and fashion magazines. These works revealed a cynical view behind the façade of a present, dominated by materialism. By painting over the high gloss photography with lucent shellac the artist emphasizes the suggestive and glamorous character of these images but simultaneously unveils the hollow promise which lurks behind the pretty surface.

The current exhibition “Color Me Beautiful” marks a turning point for Nana Dix from collage back to painting, an organic artistic development. After years of abstinence from the medium of painting she returns and showcases a developed stage. Whereas the former collages reflected the overflow of images and the unrest of our times, the monochromatic color fields of the current exhibition indicate a ruminant withdrawal, which can be regarded as an allusion towards the abstract paintings of Mark Rothko. Contrary to the latter one the works of Nana Dix also feature an intrusion of aggression into the otherwise harmonic color fields: The pale green color field of the painting “Three Dots” (2012) gets disturbed by three blood red paint splatters, which may remind the viewer of shooting wounds. The ruminant effect and aesthetic of monochromatic color fields collide with the aggressive potential of action painting. If at first the artists introduces an untouched aesthetic of peace and meditation with the painting “Pale Pink” (2012), she immediately and consequently destroys this impression with the other exhibited paintings that are mutilated with paint splatters and drippings. The imagery Nana Dix has created moves between the poles of human existence, between rest and unrest, between gentleness and aggression, Eros and Thanatos.

That bipolarity is symptomatic for the whole oeuvre of Nana Dix: Her collages can be read as a critique of mass culture and consumerism but at the same time, they are also an obeisance to the colorful imagery of consumerism. Even the exhibited paintings and works on paper refuse to be ultimately defined, meaning that the paint splatters, and drippings can be seen as wounds or blood, but together they can also be regarded as an attack against monotonous conformity. The imagery of Nana Dix is an emotional one, triggering individual reactions and interpretations inside the audience.

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