We are looking forward to our latest exhibition with new works by Pius Fox, since his participation in the painting show “Jetzt! junge Malerei in Deutschland” (“Now! Young Painting in Germany”) exhibited at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Museum Chemnitz, Museum Wiesbaden and in the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.
Representational and figurative themes have reappeared in Fox’s work and have done so since his studies. These are based on photos that he has taken himself, photos that have fascinated and inspired him over many years. With his new works, he sometimes uses a projector to bring these onto canvas or paper. Throughout his work, Fox continually makes it clear that his abstractions are largely based on objects and photos, and that the painted forms and structures are taken from things that exist in reality.
These representational forms allow Fox to deal with the question of how paintings are built up; how drawing, underpainting, oil paint, varnish, and an opaque or impasto paint application work together to create depth of colour. He investigates the fundamental question of how the journey from idea to image takes place – how certain desired effects can be executed technically.
Egg tempera has recently become increasingly important to Fox in this process. This technique is historically much older than oil painting and he applies this to many works as an underpainting in light – dark contrasts before oil paints and other materials are applied on top. This enables him to work in several layers, creating a greater depth of colour without the paint becoming too thick. Fox describes how difficult it is to decide when to switch to oils and when he will allow the oil paint to be applied with the immediate spontaneous decisions that determine the vibrant surface.
For this exhibition, Fox has even forced himself to leave his traditional 30cm format in which he navigates confidently and that his work is known for worldwide. He has consciously chosen medium and larger formats to achieve the equivalent intensity and density.
The unwieldy wordplay of the German exhibition title is the result of various considerations. First of all, the Corona-induced retreat into private life means not only a more familiar environment, but also an intensive examination of his own work and art-historical positions such as that of Picasso and Matisse. Fox alludes to the concept of “Setzung”(setting, positioning) that can be observed in Picasso’s lines and strokes which can only be set in this one precise form in order to facilitate the relevant contextual significance of the depicted. The remarkable certainty with which Picasso or Matisse could place lines that are then filled with meaning fascinates him continually. “Auseinandersetzen” is understood as dealing with or grappling with something by taking things apart (“auseinandernehmen”) and putting them back together – which plays a significant role in and describes the principle of Fox’s work.