Artist: Henning Bohl
Venues: Rob Tufnell, Cologne; Balice Hertling, Paris
Exhibition Title: Knot Guy; Knot Guy II
Organized by: What Pipeline, Detroit; Rob Tufnell, Cologne; Balice Hertling, Paris
Date: October 16 – November 3, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Balice Hertling, Paris; Rob Tufnell, Cologne; What Pipeline, Detroit
Rob Tufnell presents an exhibition of new works by Henning Bohl.
Recent works by Bohl have taken the form of digital collage combined with found fabric, ink drawings and steel sculpture. Works have explored and adopted a variety of eccentric, archetypal imagery found on amateur internet forums and role-playing game fanzines. For this exhibition Bohl has used appropriated materials with ‘Celtic’ designs to allegorise a particular forum contributor referred to as ‘the knot guy’:
In the corners of insignificant failure, that’s where the knot guy resides. He cares. His providence is criticism and it takes form in a knowing expertise toward perceived flaws. But our freedom needs no patronizing. Our flaws need no parenting. Still, the knot guy cares. He cares with his passion and his empathy. That is what he has to offer and why we give him our sympathy.
Bohl referenced ‘the knot guy’ with ‘The Unknotted Knot’ at What Pipeline, Detroit in October 2015. His commentary on ‘the knot guy’s’ complaint that a graphic artist had failed to loop her Icovellagna correctly led to further conjecture in subsequent forums thus continuing a narrative into this exhibition.
These works draw from a variety of sources, both ancient and modern, analogue and digital, reactionary and progressive. Ephemeral posts and permanent tattoos coalesce in a complex cadavre exquis that can be seen as a representational portrait of ‘the knot guy.’
Knot Guy II:
What Pipeline presents new work by Henning Bohl in a guest appearance at Balice Hertling.
Use the magnifying glass to find him, “Knot guy,” wishes for control, he wishes the world to be rational and organized, his wish, deep down, is that the world be sensible. Not being so, he rails against this. The knots being so, he asserts authority over them, his realm he seeks to control some small portion of, a symptom of most overly authoritative blogs on aesthetics. The inconsolable arbitrariness of the world is a scary cosmic horror, thus knot guy assuredly does not like the vast abyss of non-meaning that Bohl has been politely skipping across falling into for some time now. Bohl is the indeterminate horror that knot guy fears, of the possibility of arbitrariness, inconsequence. (This is why conservatism, tradition, fear-mongering and religion all go hand-in-hand.) Fearing a world where meanings and distinctions slip, erode and are horribly abused in dark concrete cells called studios.
Henning Bohl (b.1975, Oldenburg, Germany) currently lives and works in Hamburg. He studied at the Kunsthochschule, Kassel and at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main where he completed his studies in 2004. There have been public exhibitions of his work at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston (2015), Kunsthalle Nürnberg and Berlinische Galerie (2013); Pro Choice, Vienna (2012); Kunstverein Hamburg (2011); Artpace, San Antonio and Cubitt, London (2010); Grazer Kunstverein and Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (2009) and at the Oldenburger Kunstverein (2008). His work was presented at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013) and has also been included in other group exhibitions at venues including Kunstverein Reutlingen and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2015), Bar Du Bois, Vienna; Bergen Kunsthall and ICA London (2014), Kunsthalle Bonn and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2013) Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg (2012); Portikus, Frankfurt am Main and Seattle Art Museum (2011); Kunstverein Schattendorf; Kunstverein Hannover and CCA Andratx, Mallorca (2010); White Columns, New York and Sammlung Grässlin, St. Georgen (2009). He is represented by Galerie Karin Guenther in Hamburg; Galerie Meyer Kainer in Vienna; Casey Kaplan in New York and Galerie Johann König in Berlin; and is a Professor of Painting at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna.