Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is delighted to announce Alvar, the second solo exhibition of German artist Pius Fox. Following his successful show Fox Hunting in 2013, in which he presented colourful and compositionally diverse works of mostly abstracted interiors, Alvar is an exciting discovery tour – for connoisseurs of his oeuvre as well as for the curious who encounter his works for the first time. As the title of the show and its reference to a plain landscape with little or no soil and vegetation indicates, the new works are not as opulent as some of his earlier ones. More complex in structure and experimental in execution, in some cases even cryptic, the beholder is challenged to a prolonged contemplation in order to fully capture the amenity of these paintings and works on paper.
Plattengewächs (2017) is a perfect example for such a complex arrangement. The large format painting might not unfold its complete visual strength at first glance but exposes unexpected intricacy the more the spectator gets involved and engages with the work. Consequently, colours shimmer through from layers beneath, hints of repeatedly overpainted elements and scratches that appear on the surface. The painting even develops a spatial quality as three-dimensional shapes emerge within the tangle of lines, depending on changing viewing angles. The work is further exemplary for a more muted colour palette the artist reverts to in this new body of works as Fox constantly explores colour and the effects, which are generated when superimposing, and again removing layers of paint. Some of his works on paper such as Blattspiegelung (2017) in turn are defined by simplicity and held in contrasting black and white.
In general, the works reveal a great freedom, deliberately switching between abstract and figurative, between monochrome and colourful. Some are minimalistic in their display featuring geometric shapes, others are symbolically charged through titles such as Aus dem Geiste der Musik (from the spirit of music) or Planetenfenster (planet window). Furthermore, despite being a painter who appreciates traditional materials like oil on canvas or paper, Fox also works with other media such as drawing, photography and printing and he even introduces sculptural elements.
By avoiding to depict something we already know, Fox wants us to uncover the work’s own motif and composition, most of which happens in the sphere of our imagination: the hidden, the non-obvious and the possible. With this in mind, Alvar is an invitation to decode what makes Pius Fox’s works so unique as he continues and progresses from what set the tone for his young yet varied oeuvre in earlier survey presentations like his solo exhibition at FRAC Auvergne in 2016.
Moreover, Fox has held numerous solo and group shows in Germany, France and the UK. His works are held in permanent private and public collections across Europe and the US.