Gerwald Rockenschaub February 2008
*1952 in Vienna (A)
Lives & works in Berlin (D)
In the mid-80s Rockenschaub was one of a group of young, international artists concerned with the formal language of the abstract avant-garde. »Neo Geo« permeated the reduced formal language of Minimal Art with Pop Art’s permissive and consumerist approach. Rockenschaub’s model-like, small-format works produced in the eighties appropriated abstraction without wishing to confer a historical quality on it. They do not lead to any sort of discourse in terms of content, nor does their cool neutrality link up with questions relating to painting on the formal plane. He sees them as a »form of representation and play, as a possibility for making artistic statements in model form«. (G. R.). His video installations/animations translate a constructive and synthetic pictorial language into colorfully »poppy« computer animations. The standardized, static compositional principle of abstraction are animated, refracted by means of combination and variation and transferred into a crossover of graphics and techno-music. Rockenschaub’s video work makes it clear how strongly the pictorial reservoir of art has now been taken over by the mass media. The abstract and geometrical art of the 20th century becomes a model supplier for fashion, graphics, and design, and enjoys a great deal of popularity, but paradoxically it remains alien to most people as art.