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Jutta Koether „Analogue Drive“ (2024)

Jutta Koether

Analogue Drive (2024)

At the end of 2023, Jutta Koether entered into a painterly dialogue with her artist colleague Cecily Brown at New York’s Bortolami Gallery. With the exhibition “Good Luck Spot,” the Cologne-born Koether, who is known for her translucent color fields and gestural brushstrokes, showed once again how the history of painting can be renegotiated in the present moment. For her TEXTE ZUR KUNST edition, the artist has used one of the monumental triptychs exhibited there. In “Analogue Drive” – for which Koether, in a nod to Brown, expands her characteristic color palette of reds with the dynamic use of black strokes – the round shapes that have been characteristic of her work since the late 1980s are particularly striking: they can be understood as breasts, heads, eyes, cells or, as is often noted, as an allusion to the apples in Paul Cézanne’s still lifes. Here, some of these round forms have come together as pairs to mark the line figures in the background as possible women. In view of the context in which the painting was created and the fact that the central, long-haired figure and the one on the right seem to be passing paintbrushes to each other, it seems reasonable to see Koether and Brown represented here. However, such identifications remain speculative due to the loose, reduced brushstrokes. It is obvious, however, that in addition to the round forms, Koether’s application of paint also references Cézanne’s fragmented painterly gestures. Similar to his late work, “Analogue Drive” appears more like a watercolor than an oil painting, creating a tension between support and paint material, between opacity and transparency, which is captured particularly well in this large format Ditone print.