Riding.Vision is part of the art show that will open this Friday, 17.03.23 at 6pm at Last Tango in Zurich, Switzerland.
Robert Estermann & Oz Oderbolz
17.03. – 13.05.2023
at Last Tango, Zürich
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Boy / Horse (preparatory drawing for a mural inside a Parisian staircase, later becoming the template for Four Boys / Four Horses #1), 1995
Four Boys / Four Horses #2 Applied Template, 1996-2023
Four Boys / Four Horses #2 #3 #4, 2023
Four Boys / Four Horses Mugs, 2000
For this exhibition we have taken an “archeological” approach, looking back at an older series of Robert Estermann’s drawings Four Boys / Four Horses (1996). What are the questions that come up when we encounter this image? The boy seems to be otherworldly, with his Mona Lisa half-smile, gazing at us innocently. The horse, of uncertain gender, is calm and surprisingly curious. Could the line drawing be abstracting, impairing, or even subverting our full comprehension of what’s going on in the image? What is it that is making us deal or not deal with these unruly lines?
The source materials at the entrance produce a time travel back to the artist’s studio. It’s 1995-96, when Robert was studying at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. Four Boys / Four Horses started as one drawing before becoming four drawings, with each image staging a singular experience. Exhibited at Last Tango, Boy / Horse is the preparatory drawing for a mural inside a Parisian staircase, later becoming the template for Four Boys / Four Horses #1. At this point in time, three of the original drawings of Four Boys / Four Horses have apparently been misplaced by a gallery. However, the paper cuts (templates) are as Robert describe them, “the DNA that never got destroyed.” Ultimately, as the exhibition goes on, Robert will perform on the paper, producing a new work. One of the rare constants in his work is the expressionism of the angles. Robert gets excited by the idea of movement of a line, the radicality of the angle, the freedom of a line to relate to our existence. The three “missing” drawings exist fictionally in a composite photograph titled Four Boys / Four Horses #2 #3 #4, sourced from the artist’s archive. Robert is standing proudly in front of his work. What happens when we see three of these images in their original frieze-like hanging? The mugs, because of their mass-produced everyday object appeal, enable another access to this drawing series.
Riding.Vision Warehouse, 2023
Riding.Vision Info Desk, 2016-ongoing
Riding.Vision is a fully working and daily updated online concept store and research platform that was founded in 2016 as an art project. It is a work in progress. While the theme and history of (human) rider and horse is anything but new, Riding.Vision's approach is unique, as it liquifies the boundaries between traditions, narratives, subcultural expressions, desires, the non-compatible, and the potential embarrassment. It also tells stories of obsession, dominance, colonialism, spectacle and modernity. Avoiding habitual safeguards offered by dogma, taste judgment or cynicism, Riding.Vision assumes the role of a collector and incubator through its own post-colonial mass production and added value of images system. One of Estermann's postulates here is that the resulting new composite materialities of the products and the roughness are agents of new liberties and great, unexplored chances.
Text by Last Tango and Riding.Vision
Robert Estermann (born 1970, Lucerne, Switzerland) lives and works in Zurich and Berlin. He studied at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris from 1992 to 1997 and was a fellow at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht from 1999 to 2001. Estermann has exhibited extensively both in Switzerland and internationally. His most recent solo exhibitions include: Galleria Di Berna, Stadtgalerie Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2021); Kosmos Lem, Rechenzentrum, Potsdam, Germany (2021); World Drawing Class, Hilfiker Kunstprojekte, Lucerne, Switzerland (solo, 2019); Wild Youths Riot School, Museum Jajaknamusoup, Hoengseong-gun, South Korea (2018); They Printed It, Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); Eco-Echo-Echo, Corriente Alterna, Lima, Peru (2015). Prizes and scholarships include: Manor Art Prize, Lucerne (2007); Swiss Art Awards (2005, 2007, 2009); Werkbeitrag des Kantons Zürich (2005, 2007, 2012); Jury Prize (Preis der Zentralschweizer Kantone) (2005); Artist-in-Residence, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (1999-2001). His work is held in collections such as Canton of Zurich, City of Zurich, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Fondation CMC Agnès B., Paris, Sammlung Hoffmann La-Roche, Metropolitan Museum, New York, FRAC Franche-Comté, Besançon, FRAC PACA, Marseille as well as The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC.
Photos above by Kilian Bannwart Courtesy of Last Tango