Magazine article Artforum International

Peter Pommerer

Magazine article Artforum International

Peter Pommerer

Article excerpt

Without mutual trust this exhibition might not have been possible. The Galerie Gebauer left its rooms to Stuttgart artist Peter Pommerer so that he could spend three weeks filling them with large-format wall drawings--knowing full well that, given his working method, he might produce anything from rhizomaric scribbling to cross-cultural ornamentation, from children's-room fantasies to crude configurations of bodies in the spirit of art brut. But, in the end, Pommerer controlled himself: With minimal watercolor strokes and colored-pencil lines, one room was made a sort of jungle, a second inscribed with a quote from Schiller, and the third covered with a silhouette-style frieze of penguins.

Rather than following a strict narrative form, Pommerer lets his motifs proliferate; archaic signs overlap with citations from comic strips. He creates an image-surface that does not differentiate between public space and private rumination. One comes across bathroom graffiti and crude depictions of sex--the kind adolescent boys surreptitiously scratch into school desks--right in the middle of a decorative sequence of animal-shaped arabesques. His drawings create the effect of anonymity yet always represent the triumph of an individual anarchism over social rules. It is precisely the depiction of bodies that makes Pommerer's drawings a medium of transgression: The free-form image-world transcends the ghetto of teenage desire and floods into the gallery space--or a whole exhibition hall, as in the German Open at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in 1999. …

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