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Gabi Trinkaus, “Modern Landscapes and…”

Stockholm, 15.11–21.12  2012

Gabi Trinkaus emerged onto the art scene to stay when she, in a series of self-portraits, applied collage technique in her work. At that time, she used it to process the inescapable and intrusive ideal of beauty. Soon, other women were portrayed in her paper works, and more recently, men as well. Her seemingly classic portraits revolved around idealized notions of beauty and identity-making in contemporary society. Portraits constructed out of clippings from perhaps the most significant bearer of such ideals – the fashion magazine.

Trinkaus refers to herself as a “media thief”, dismantling the glossy magazine pages and shaking them up. Here, even the most serene motif transforms at closer inspection; an eye is formed by pieces of hair, an ear is made out of an upper lip. The images are built from linear sketches, like stencils that are dressed up with cut-up magazines. In each finished work, the drawing remains exposed, enhancing its brittle, deconstructed identity. Also, the title of each work can always be found on one of the paper scraps constructing its image.

In “Modern Landscapes”, Trinkaus is back with a new set of imagery: the wonderland of pre-planned family homes and high-end holiday resorts. A world in which everything is conformist, earned wealth is protected. But the notion of perfected life comes with a flip side, here embodied by the toy themed works. They portray childhood and frailty, as metaphor for what might go wrong. The difference between city and countryside is steadily dissolving. Land is commercialized, landscapes are planned, and advertisement is a part of our lifestyle aesthetic. Such are the modern landscapes, not only a consequence of our desires, but also as a creator of desires. As Trinkaus puts it: “Our environments seem to consist of pre-fabricated containers waiting for the eager customer to move in. ”Paradise” is out there already and it is available now. Everything is sketched out beforehand and executed in perfect ready-to-wear mode.”

In these dissolved landscapes and portraits, Gabi Trinkaus addresses the artificial aspects of everyday life. Because if there is one thing to know about her, it is that she does not believe in the world as such as it is presented to us as a pre-packaged reality. And so, she questions it all with an ironic glance. She says: “It seems I always re-arrange the chaos and build the world anew. The pieces used are nothing new; we all come upon them daily. It is the application out of their familiar context and in new combinations, which makes them develop a discourse of their own and reveal a new nature.”

Gabi Trinkaus, born in 1966, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. She studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and graduated in 1997. Since then she has had a large number of shows throughout Europe. Trinkaus work can be found in many prominent collections, both private and public, she has also been honored with a commission to make an official portrait for the president of Austria. This is Galleri Andersson/ Sandström’s third exhibition with Gabi Trinkaus since the beginning of the collaboration in 2007.