The solo exhibition FALTER presents current works of the artist Johanna Strobel. The Regensburg (Germany)-born artist works with an interdisciplinary approach in her artistic practice. Using various media, which include sculpture, painting, installations, video, and virtual reality (VR), she approaches theoretical concepts of abstract and large-scale themes. Influenced by her undergraduate background in mathematics and information science, she explores concepts such as time and space, information and power, linguistic meaning, and conceptual geometry.
“I weave together disparate references that span geographies and histories, and seemingly contradictory theories – exploring abstract thoughts through figurative imagery, motifs, logic, repetition and recursion.”
In what is already her third solo exhibition at GALERIE ISABELLE LESMEISTER, Johanna Strobel presents works in which she processes memories and thoughts of a research trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the state of Utah (USA). The dried-up remains of a primeval lake, now left as a salt desert, are now used as a speed test track and for mining salt and chemicals. On her journey, Strobel captured impressions photographically and on film, on the basis of which she formulates reflections on the “here and now” – on the relationship between change and time and one’s own viewpoint in a world that is undergoing major changes due to human influences. The video installation BONNE CHANCE, which will be shown on the upper floor of the gallery, underlines and overpaints impressions of the salt desert with a philosophical-poetic voice-over. The fact that the voice over is written and spoken in English is a conscious decision that offers a more distanced and less subjective perspective on her reflections. This distance from language, with which she simultaneously describes personal sensations and the experience of place, opens up space for her theoretical and poetic investigations. For example, on the concept of speed and its relation to the concept of time.
Strobel’s explorations of abstract concepts and abstracted models of thought are also expressed through the paintings in oil on aluminum shown in the exhibition, which combine a figurative visual language and a conceptual approach. Specifically, the exploration and motivic use of the titular butterfly resulted from a chance encounter with a butterfly in the Bonneville Salt Flats, captured on film. Here, the butterfly stands in a long art historical symbolism as a sign of change. In a reduced color palette of black, white and green tones, she shows the insect on two levels of meaning: once figurative and once linguistic.
After studying mathematics and information science in Regensburg, Johanna Strobel completed her studies in painting and graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich as a master student of Gregor Hildebrandt. She graduated with a Master of Fine Art in New Genres from Hunter College in New York (USA) in 2020. Her work has been on view in Germany at venues including the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and is currently on view at the Neues Museum in Nuremberg, where it is part of the group exhibition MOMENTUM. In addition, her works have been exhibited in Italy at the Nappe Arsenale in Venice and the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, NY (USA).