Semjon Contemporary

artefact affairs - Marc von der Hocht7 September – 6 October, 2018

About the show

In his fifth solo-exhibition – this time in all gallery rooms and at the beginning of the new 2018/2019 art season – Marc von der Hocht will give us some insight into his recent artistic creations. Exciting constellations of his multi-faceted oeuvre can be presented in different spatial environments. Apart from his meanwhile well-established and valued paintings, the genre of collage will be more prominently presented, complemented by the new light objects.

His exhibition Abol Tabol in 2013 was our most recent opportunity to learn that the artist’s paintings are closely related to the genre of collage, radicalizing tendencies already apparent in his paintings, as i.e. the perspective arrangement of countless, multi-faceted coloured areas in dialogue, overlapping or at least touching each other in some places. Experts on aerial perspective will certainly admit that these compositions are created with unparalleled sovereignty and recognize the refinement and delicacy in paint application and brush style. Each layer of paint responds to the already existing coloured fields, creating new effects. Each colour must be so well-balanced in terms of perspective that no field or part of it is unintentionally back- or foregrounded, and must be always conducted in concert with its ambient colour formations. A pictorial approach to abstract painting is presented here, making us wonder about its distinctiveness, aesthetic elegance and, at the same time, subtlety.

Marc von der Hocht‘s abstract painting successfully mirrors our (urban) lives shaped by dynamics and speed, industrial mass production and digital realities, reflecting techno beats and strobe light, noise (yet with subtle nuances in between), cityscapes flashing by, industrial aesthetics – i.e. of the new technoworld dance temples – and the transition into different spaces of (colour-) experience and realities. This radical but carefully considered mixing of partitioned series of images from glossy magazines (architecture and lifestyle, fashion and automotive/technology, aero- and astronautics), when creating collages in his studio, has stimulated his painting. Today, both genres keep influencing each other and can no longer be separated. The glossy brochure has found its counterpart in industrial high-gloss varnish; the mirroring of the ambient space has become a calculated component of the picture.
When reviewing the pictorial works of the last few years (best presented in the artist portfolio on the gallery’s homepage), people are surprised to see how fresh and expectantly, how well-placed (a bold painted statement, as it were) each picture is put into focus.

From his solo-exhibitions Corpus Delicti und Akasha in 2014 and 2015 we know the artist’s attempts to lift his paintings into the third dimension. The paintings were integrated into the wooden tectonic structure, which the artist calls Strebewerk (Buttress). The new paintings however are mounted on ventilation elements familiar to us from industrial production sites or large dance clubs. The ones used by Marc von der Hocht come from “Tresor”, the legendary club run by Dimitri Hegemann in the former heat and power plant in the Köpenicker Straße in Berlin-Mitte.
Marc von der Hocht thus lifts his paintings off the wall and into the third dimension. Congenial and slightly roguish corner solutions are created, when he uses ventilation elements originally designed for changing circulation directions in air shafts in order to align his paintings perpendicularly to the wall. The correspondence between the industrially manufactured ventilation element with its functional aesthetics and the artist’s paintings is astonishing. This alignment of chamfered zinc sheet parts fitted into one another to form (air-sucking) spatial bodies with reinforced edges finds a convincing aesthetic analogy in the pictorial suggestion of colour spaces peeping out from beneath or in front of horizontally or diagonally arranged frame edges. While the earlier Strebewerk (Buttress) formally referred to the tectonic dynamics of his painting, forwarding these into space, the artist’s abstract painting now refers rather to locations: urban spaces and digital worlds, industrial aesthetics and techno beat, dynamics and contemplation.

Marc von der Hocht’s large-format collages, which were on display in the large comprehensive exhibition Vitruv in the Workshop Gallery of the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in Dresden, will be presented in Berlin for the first time. Here, the experience of meshing, faceting and structuring of pictorial space in his paintings is condensed to a large-format collage, made possible only through the visual immersion as a result of the confrontation with the large format. Previous smaller collages have to be conceived rather as drafts for imaginary spaces, which left no space for a sense of grandeur. This is now changed with the size of the collage, which refers to the artist’s large-format paintings and is nevertheless self-sufficient.

Parallel to his paintings Marc von der Hocht has always kept working on his machine sculptures and/or large light objects/sculptures. Who has seen LOCKHEED last year, the giant flying object in black space, a reference to the today almost forgotten US Stealth bomber of the early 80ies, had the opportunity to experience that the flying object became visible in the dark only after a longer period of watching. With its play of light and interactive sound (composed on behalf of the artist by Irakli Kiziria) a three-dimensional world has been presented which represents a formal-aesthetical link between the object/sculpture and his paintings. Here, the artist combines playful aspects with profound discourse. One is surprised how confidently finds from everyday packaging and product life are woven into a whole, which logically translates the machine and electronic-complex components. Only over a longer period of time the viewer discovers the banality of the single parts and enjoys their mimicry and new use. 

Also the room-dominating Monolith (presented in the gallery’s Garten-Salon) introduces us to its own world of the digital now. Formed to a large block, and with the aid of various light sources and its aesthetics of an electronically digital machine it transcends to a spatial body which is not of this world. It could equally be part of a space station or world receiver for the planet Mars.


artefact affairs appeals to the individual shapes, the language of forms, which can be traced at any time in all spheres of the product and everyday-life landscape, as it is a ‘child of its time’. The consistency with which the artist re-combines the ‘retrieved’ shapes has grown out of this spirit. For this reason his objects/sculptures are from the same mould, even if consisting of countless single parts. The same can be said about his paintings and collages, as these were created out of the spirit of discovering and experiencing our present time.

It could not be fresher, more alive and closer to the pulse of time!

Semjon H. N. Semjon, August 2018

Read more