|HIPKISS, Yes But No But, 2014, mixed media on paper, 59 x 118cm|
Delmes & Zander I Berlin presents
Hipkiss:Yes, but No.
February 17 – April 15, 2017
Opening: Friday, 17.2., 6–9 pm
In the exhibition Hipkiss: Yes, but No. Delmes and Zander is showing for the first time at the Berlin space a selection of works by the British artist duo Hipkiss including five pieces from their most recent series, “The Towers.”
Initiated in early 2015, „The Towers” is a series of graphite drawings on long sheets of paper (approx. 40 x 225 cm) in which the look of the Hipkiss-landscape is taken yet another step further by way of newly explored dynamic processes in creation. The drawings reveal a more abstract yet concentrated visual language in which details are distilled without the distraction of a more complicated, continuous backdrop. By organically working their way from the axis within the circular limits, the magically vertiginous effect of the drawings is accentuated. As is emblematic of Hipkiss, the works feature human-made structures placed against - or within - natural landscapes, intricately intertwined and almost hybrid, whilst at the same time curiously out of place. “The Towers”-landscapes work at both close range and from a distance, individually and collectively as a whole.
They have become Hipkiss' primary ongoing project since and mark a more mature phase in their artistic development, where the alter egos used by Hipkiss in the past have naturally shifted from the glammed-up, youthful figures to more abstract and natural forms.
Hipkiss have also pointed to the overt political meaning of their most recent work: “Reflecting a year - 2016 - in which it could be said that masculine forces have enjoyed a resurgence of power in the Western world, the many feminine symbols to be found in the drawings coalesce, in our minds, to combat the attempted coup; it is a paean to solidarity and righteous rage.”
Alongside “The Towers”, the exhibition will show a selection of smaller works on paper and the seminal “L.I.E.” - series (an acronym for "London In Europe") in which Hipkiss dissect the ambiguity of the British identity within Europe – a prophetical series in view of recent developments in the U.K. and the Brexit debate.
Hipkiss are Chris and Alpha Mason (both *1964). They have steadily worked as equal partners on inventing and reinventing their symbolic language together since 1983, with each of their strands of creativity – Alpha in writing and Chris in drawing – culminating in a singular and distinctive visual style. The landscapes they envision abound in intricate details and equivocal organic forms which, in the artists' words, unfold as if by happenstance in a collaborative creative process continuously shaped by an ongoing exchange of ideas and techniques. Wordplay is also recurrent in the work of Hipkiss and an essential formal element in their narrative mode. For many years, Hipkiss have refined their use and understanding of graphite (and graphite over silver ink) on paper as their primary media, but have occasionally also included other materials - such as the metal leaf and tape seen in “The Towers”. The result is an impressive oeuvre that is both meaningful and strikingly beautiful.
The work of Hipkiss can be found in the following collections: the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (US-WI), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Netherlands), The Whitworth (UK), FRAC Picardie (France), the American Folk Art Museum (US-NY); and in the private collections of Cindy Sherman, Antoine de Galbert and Arnulf Rainer. Hipkiss has featured in solo shows at Intuit, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, group shows at the Tate Britain, Whitechapel, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, La Maison Rouge, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and David Zwirner, and international art fairs, including Art Basel, Frieze London, Art Forum Berlin and Open Space (solo booth) at Art Cologne.