"Exciting New Investment Opportunities in Oil"

Eröffnung: 31. Mai 2013, 18:30 |
Ausstellung bis 29.06


JON SHELTON – "Exciting New Investment Opportunities in Oil" l May 31-June 29, 2013

The American artist Jon Shelton has been living in Germany for many years now. Nonetheless, the role of the United States on the international political stage remains an important point of departure for much of his artistic activity. His second solo exhibition at krupic kersting galerie features works in a broad range of media; sculptural installation, drawing, text images, and for the first time, paintings. The ambiguity of the exhibition title, Exciting New Investment Opportunities in Oil, is characteristic of Shelton's artistic practice, it refers to all of the exhibition's works but in very different ways.

Several elements of the exhibition, above all the installation, deal with the territorial dispute between Japan, China and Taiwan over the Senkaku, or Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. The US, a military ally of Japan, plays an important role in this continually escalating conflict. In it, the boundaries between national territorial and global economic interests have become further blurred by the discovery of fossil fuels beneath the uninhabited archipelago.

Political machinations hidden from the public eye, and banished from the official canons of US history, are a central preoccupation for the artist. Thematically, he uses a variety of artistic approaches to investigate strategies for maintaining power through military means, political and financial networks, and media manipulation. Though the works in the exhibition are very diverse in their visual appearance, a web of topical references connects them, each image adding to information presented in the others. Indeed the formal composition, as well as specific materials, techniques and motifs of the individual works all carry content implications. Different cultural and art historical references to Chinese landscape painting, American Pop Art, and calligraphy also point to specific geographic, political and cultural connections throughout the show.

In his work, Shelton makes use of different types of thematic and formal abstraction. Real conflicts are at times represented in caricatured national ciphers and distilled into barbed cliches; at others, real motifs begin to dissolve, step by step, into abstract painting. The use of early Renaissance glazing techniques also provides an unexpected vantage point from which to look at today's digital pictorial worlds, and into the chasm between virtual perception and reality. The transfer and collage of touchstones from a collective history into an atypical medium or an unusual context provokes shifts in perception, often legible as humorous, critical commentary.

Text: Anabel Charlotte Runge, M.A.


here the german press text:

Exciting New Investment Opportunities in Oil English