Nora Kapfer, Recent Paintings, 21 March – 19 June 2021

Whites in Nora Kapfer’s paintings look organic. Calcareous, like the soft whites of remains.
Mutable as they may be, the paintings don’t fetishize death or corporeality. They function
rather like histories and matrixes composed of disparate actants, sedimented and buried
atop each other, generative and reactive. They’re dialectic in a sort of counter-Hegel fashion,
like the concept of the Marquis de Sade sprinkling fresh petals onto slurry from a window of
his gaol.
Flowers, breasts, detached grids suggest an overcoding of all the decoded parts, an always
already not as foregone conclusion but as compulsive continuity. Like the nude in the art
of the Renaissance having already felt like Pop and technically queer in its day long before
industrial image massification and ensuing liquefaction through the digital, processes
tracked and further denatured in Kapfer’s bituminized surfaces. What made the former
asphalt jungle, seeping through in these works? The idea is said to first have taken shape in
the 1920s, roughly contemporaneous with the innovatory style of especially female artists’
photographic image-making, then termed Neues Sehen (New Vision). The latter captured
the self refracted through its surrounding conurbation’s bodies, machines and stuff in a light
and from angles viewed as novel, wrong and free. Kapfer’s paintings are warped the way we
don’t know yet for certain the kind of naturexculture we’ll be looking back on.

Daniel Horn