The Thin Red Line
November 28, 2018–January 19, 2019
The Thin Red Line is David Ostrowski’s very first solo show with Sprüth Magers in London, for which he has developed a new body of paintings and materials that serve as a meditation on the colour red.
The series was begun earlier this year as part of a new red phase in Ostrowski’s practice, which has focused previously on minimal interventions of blue spray paint and applied elements on largely white or neutral canvases. The colour red had appeared in Ostrowski’s work as early as 2009, but it has taken nearly ten years for him to return to the colour exclusively. The cultural relativity of the colour red was an initial point of interest for the artist; it connotes affairs of the heart for some, has become almost universally synonymous with danger, and represents good luck in other cultures. Grappling with this complex personality and its cultural preconceptions was a central concern for Ostrowski in developing the current works, which have materialised as repositories of the presence and absence of the colour red. The artist applied found materials from his studio, elements such as cotton, wood and paper, to canvases which have been painted in acrylic and lacquer. F (Component), features part of the name of a German paint brand, Alpinaweiß, painted in red acrylic on a pale background, whilst F (Freischwinger) is a digital pigment print of antique chairs superimposed on a red backdrop. Paintings with large areas of paintwork signal Ostrowski’s idiosyncratic painting style – working quickly and spontaneously with fast-drying materials, adding texture and depth through collaged elements.