The gallery alexander levy is pleased to present recent works by the artist Daniel Mohr under the title Ornament and Promises from January 07 to February 18, 2017.

In his latest series of works, entitled “The Grand Chessboard” Daniel Mohr deals with the connections between the European-Western colonial and imperial past and the supremacy of the United States of America since the Second World War. Taking cut-outs from the press or publications as a basis, he also points to the discussion of today’s mass media.

For the painting “Februar 2003 (February 2003)” Mohr chose the motif of the “Guernica” tapestry, that Nelson A. Rockefeller gave to the United Nations in 1985 and which shows the famous painting by Pablo Picasso. When US Secretary of State Colin Powell explained his positions on a possible war against Iraq in front of the international press in New York in 2003, the work was covered with the flag of the Security Council. As a symbolic act it reflects the fear of politicians who are frightened of the power of images in media debates. “Mohammad” is based on the cover of the Time Magazine showing the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1951, who was selected “Man of the Year” by the magazine. After the nationalization of the oil industry, however, the Mossadegh government was overthrown by military force of the intelligence services of the United States and Great Britain in 1953. The selection of the pictures also presents particular symbols, such as the ace of spades, which served as a symbol of death as deterrence in the Vietnam War, and an artichoke in reference to the secret research project of the CIA in the 1950s, whose experiments pursued the purpose to manipulate the human mind.

The political background and motifs create a new framework for Daniel Mohr, enabling him to expand his visual language: On a “pin board” he presents small, mostly high-format paintings as a complete work of art, which is related both formally and in terms of content. Like a mind map, the chosen motifs are combined to form an idea that deals with the hegemonic, geostrategic position of Western states, the world order in the age of globalization and the power of images in their medial communication of events, and thus questioning through the constant topicality of painting the authenticity of the representation of reality. The diffuse aesthetics with its warm characteristic tones and soft transitions creates a direct contrast to the brutal facts of his motifs.

The viewer is already confronted with questions about perception and the acceleration by the media in the large-format paintings of the typical open-air scenes in the park, on the beach or in the forest. Oscillating between figuration and abstraction he deals with the relationship between man and nature and integrates symbols of everyday life as well as particular motifs of the “pin board”. Through the dissolution and fragmentation of the figures and landscapes Daniel Mohr introduces a parallelism of events in his paintings and thus the simultaneous juxtaposition of exciting moments, and in this way he questions the constitutive moments of our perception, especially of the medially communicated image.