Undress Cap (2018)

Gouasch on canvas, dimensions variable

The Undress Cap series refers to head-coverings wealthy European men wore in the privacy of the home in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indoors, the undress caps replaced the formal wigs that men wore outside and aimed to protect their often shaved heads against chills and disease. Although not meant to be representative, but rather informal, they were luxurious garments of great beauty, richly decorated with expensive metal threads and embroidered motifs of flora and fauna. Thus, the headdress seemed to conflate inner and outer space at once. In the series, the headgear is taken out of its original context and is depicted as an object, reminiscent of the traditional still life genre. It is centrally placed and seems to be swelling out to the borders of the plane, dissolving into it. The application of paint explores the boundaries between painting and drawing, as well as object and surface, avoiding easy classification. Even though often associated with gender politics and with the positioning of oneself in society, religiously and socially, the head-covering as the subject of the work avoids clear classification and remains ambiguous, if not absurd.

Photos: Sebastian Mayer
Installation View, Hand seiner Zeit, Gallery KM, 2019