Color is of the utmost importance to painter Jule Korneffel. “I think color lives,” she stated in an interview with Arte Fuse earlier this year. For Korneffel, colors live, breathe and grow via a fluid layering of paint. The result of this process is a piece where no color fully covers another — those on top reveal those beneath. And Korneffel’s penchant for circles only enhances her rather cyclical way of documenting experiences.
Making use of inside and outside space, “here comes trouble” at Spencer Brownstone Gallery exemplifies Korneffel’s process within a specific context.
For these works, Korneffel sticks to pleasant red, pink, blue, green and yellow hues. Her square canvases bearing variously placed circles often feel like a still from a film. At times, the circles feel like helium-filled balloons that have been painted mid-ascension. At other times, the circles feel like rubber balls that have been painted mid-bounce.
Though all of the paintings have a light and airy quality, there is a decided element of gravity in several. In “Sunset” (2019), “Fly” (2018) and “One Love Or Another” (2018), the circles depicted at the bottom of the canvas appear, if only momentarily, grounded. On the other hand, the circles in “Rainbow” (2018) and “4 apples” (2018) all exude a sense of weightlessness.
At the time of my visit, a plastic, white chair coupled with a circular table painted purple stood before “One Love Or Another.” This furniture set may be found elsewhere, depending on when one visits. Upon encountering the set, one feels compelled to sit and stare a while. In an imagined world, the table’s top might well be a materialized circle that once occupied a spot on a canvas.
One views ‘Nacht” (2018) from back to front. Mounted on the glass border between the gallery’s interior and exterior spaces and facing outward, visitors are first met with the paintings back frame. After stepping outside, one gains access to the front of the painting. One also soon notices that Korneffel has playfully taken her brush to an adjacent brick wall. A circle or two appear to have slipped off the canvas and into the real world.
“Happy nein” (2018), featuring a large backwards “9,” may be a reference to Korneffel’s childhood and her father, a mathematician. In her interview with Arte Fuse, Korneffel revealed that she and her father often interacted and communicated through number games and that this was when she “started to connect emotions to numbers and abstract patterns.”
Finding inspiration in the works of Mary Heilmann, Agnes Martin, De Kooning and other American painters, German-born artist Jule Korneffel is now leaving her own colorful mark on painting. Though non-confrontational, Korneffel’s work is unrestrained. In a cyclical fashion, her paint easily gives way to more paint. Her shapes easily escape the confines of the canvas. Making use of spontaneous motion, Jule Korneffel creates vibrant pieces that form unique atmospheres into which we may step inside.
Jule Korneffel: here comes trouble at Spencer Brownstone Gallery
6 March – 21 April 2019
170-B Suffolk Street
New York, NY 10002
Photos courtesy of Daniel Greer and Spencer Brownstone Gallery