Alexander Booth, Jonas Zöller, Pilar Soler Montes
22,4 x 33,8 cm
Jan Zöller’s (b. Haslach, 1992; lives and works in Karlsruhe) paintings, sculptures, and installations probe the discrepancy between economic production and the spiritual and magical dimension of art. The artist’s book Ritual Believer surveys the so-called charcoal paintings series, created between 2019 and 2023. For these works, the artist paints directly in charcoal on the unprimed canvas, making it impossible to correct “blunders.” Another distinguishing feature is the virtual absence of color; the austerity of the compositions contrasts with Zöller’s other, often intensely colorful paintings. The motifs that are the hallmark of his oeuvre—birds, running legs—are complemented by writing and text. Another aspect of this shift is that the works’ titles play a central part and almost figure as a creative element in their own right. For the text in the book, the artist sent the titles of the works shown to his brother, who wove them into a story. An appendix presents scanned archival materials. Notebooks and zines Zöller produced between 2015 and 2017 provide interesting insight into how he finds his motifs and his compositional process.
Jan Zöller studied with Marijke van Warmerdam and Leni Hoffmann at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe from 2012 until 2017 and with Jean-Marc Bustamante and Götz Arndt at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2016.