Jochen Proehl

Urban Anatomies

February 8-29, 2020

“Volumes”, “In Situ” or “Anatomie” are the names of Jochen Proehl’s works. The form repertoire of these works has its origin in the landscapes and ochre-coloured earth as well as archaeological excavations of Anatolia and also in the urban density of Istanbul. Here, the artist spent his childhood and youth, receiving early impressions that effect his art and painting. The individual or a concrete location doesn’t interest him. Rather the artist is always interested in the essential, the fundamental anatomy of situations and locations. Just as in long exposures, during which temporary appearances are not recorded since they only enter the frame for a relatively short period. Only the unchanged is visible. In his urban anatomies the artist always focuses on creating visuals that condense and summarise time. ‘The city’ is for him a never-ending process. And so he translates urban forms in his paintings into simple volumes or shapes. In his compositions the artist also lays the foundations mostly with basic geometric forms such as circles, squares or rectangles and consequently underlines the common character of his work. This distance from the visible world also underlines his technique: By exclusively working with a wide brush, the dynamic of the characteristic style of the brushwork concentrates on the whole of a form. Jochen Proehl compares every single brushstroke with a word in a sentence: “Just as the word is the smallest semantic element in a sentence, so is every single wide stroke of a brush in my paintings. With these, I build my painting.” Therefore, the arrangement of the every single brushstroke in the overall context of the painting is not purely gestural, but follows an exact “choreography” that the artist himself formulates.

Due to his approaches, the art of Jochen Proehl moves on a plane between the abstract and figuration.These paintings open windows to a view of our world in which all the time in the world seems condensed.

Born in Lübeck, Germany, Jochen Proehl spent his childhood and youth in Istanbul. He studied at HdK Berlin (now: Udk Berlin). In addition to his artistic work, Proehl is a member of faculty and Director of Arts and Culture at the Bahçeşehir University. To date, he has exhibited his works in numerous shows in Turkey and abroad.