Jeanette Mundt

Ultra Beauty

05 October 05 November 2015

Jeanette Mundt: Ultra Beauty. Installation view
Installation view
Jeanette Mundt: Ultra Beauty. Jeanette Mundt / And Outcasts Always Mourn, 2015 / Oil on linen / 183 x 152.5 x 4 cm / 72 x 60 x 1.5 in
Jeanette Mundt / And Outcasts Always Mourn, 2015 / Oil on linen / 183 x 152.5 x 4 cm / 72 x 60 x 1.5 in
Jeanette Mundt: Ultra Beauty.
Jeanette Mundt: Ultra Beauty. Jeanette Mundt / I Want You, I Want You, 2015 / Oil and marker on linen / 183 x 152.5 x 4 cm / 72 x 60 x 1.5 in
Jeanette Mundt / I Want You, I Want You, 2015 / Oil and marker on linen / 183 x 152.5 x 4 cm / 72 x 60 x 1.5 in

Based on a detail of Hendrik Goltzius’s The Fall of Man, the painting And Outcasts Always Mourn is an exercise in the melancholic. The work of mourning, they said, is the elimination of demons. The demons remain, next to motifs that pervade the exhibition: landscape, specifically mountains, and women. The mourning withstands the presence of the demons. The title is taken from a line in Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
And alien tears will fill for him, 
Pity’s long-broken urn, 
For his mourners will be outcast men, And outcasts always mourn.
I’m a Dragon, You’re a Whore fuses H.R. Geiger’s alien and the threat of the female body. It is not a superimposition. It is not pretense. There is a subtle ferocity in asking about the surface of a painting, the creation of an image – it is a question of belief, of faith, of imagination – an imaginary being. How much weight is given to the presence of reduction? The layering of colors on the surface of this linen is realized with folded paper towels and the force of weight.

I Want You, I Want You layers permanent marker and oil paint – drawing and painting. The Sharpie seeps through the oil paint with time – persistent. The motifs create the pictorial space. Or is it the other way around? Maybe the mountains make a female form. The drawing is taken from the stills that make up a GIF of Patricia Arquette riding Fred Madison in Lost Highway. The mountain, the Matterhorn, is reflecting itself, a game of perception.

French Beach is originally Odilon Redon’s. Mundt stared at a printout on 8 1/2 x 11” paper of the rock that comes out of the beach, in front of the sky and ocean. The reproduction is unifying, eliminating all grounds, shallowing space and abstracting shapes – leaving room for interpretation.

Elizabeth Taylor leaves the ocean in He Becomes Fed Up With The Dark Ones. The gay icon, the fallible female, in a space defined by lines, strokes, a suggestion of liquid. The rest is in the mind. The violence is in the mind. The artist can give a name to that violence.

There is a definitive impetus – to be now – that is thwarted by the anxieties of being now. Questions about relevancy strangle perspicuity. Or is it the other way around?