General Inn

Frank Nitsche

May 31, 2013 – July 25, 2013 459 West 19th Street

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to present General Inn, Frank Nitsche’s third solo exhibition with the Gallery. General Inn centers on new paintings and a corresponding column of empty beverage cans that are wrapped and covered with commercial stickers collected throughout Nitsche’s world travels. The exhibition extends Nitsche’s considerations of the ubiquitous lines that permeate urban landscapes. The juxtaposition of the paintings and commodified pillar hints at the artist’s source material and reveals a formal consolidation of circulated signs into large-scale geometries.

In Frank Nitsche’s most recent work one encounters a filtering of process that traces the artist’s painterly trajectory towards elemental components. Working from his extensive archive of collected media clippings that range from images of catastrophe to financial graphs, Nitsche mentally and physically catalogues these materials to develop a contemporary and comparative ideation of form. These forms do not necessarily represent a static sum, but instead illustrate an evolving typology of images that shape and inform social codes.

Nitsche’s visually restrained paintings emerge from an intricate progression of previous experiments that belie the elegant simplicity of the final image. The artist sands, corrects, rebalances and overpaints, creating an opaque palimpsest that translates his cataloging process to the canvas. The result is deceptively minimal paintings. Nitsche completes the clearly defined shapes with hooks, ties and lines, as if transposing the ligatures of an unidentified calligraphy. The architectural compositions are familiar but impenetrable; the smooth and slick surfaces, along with the serial titles, intentionally obscure their varied referents.

Nitsche’s methods neither articulate nor influence; rather they elicit the potentiality for experience. For this reason, Nitsche’s work concentrates on form rather than language; materials are already fraught with meaning. To this end, Nitsche has narrowed his color palette to blacks, greys and whites. This tonal restraint isolates and intensifies an examination of structure, vertices, lines and how they intersect. While this may be initially interpreted as an ascetic reduction, the gradual physical changes and layered history of the paintings unveil the hidden opulence of the color white. Rather than presenting his paintings and sculpture as a fixed or complete language, Nitsche offers the viewer an atlas.

Frank Nitsche’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin; Art & Public, Geneva; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris. Recent group exhibitions include I am a Berliner, Tel Aviv Museum of Art; HELLO CHINA, Brandenburgerischer Kunstverein, Potsdam, Germany; Abstract Confusion – Malerei, Skulptur, Video, Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany; and the Prague Biennale 5. His work is featured in the collections of: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germany. Frank Nitsche lives and works in Berlin.

As of July 1, Gallery hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 11am–6pm. For further information, please contact the gallery at  (212) 334-9255 or