Kitchen Semiotics

December 15th, 2016 – March 4th, 2017
S2, SommerContemporaryArt, Tel Aviv, Israel

Kitchen Semiotics is Ulrich Pester’s first exhibition in Israel at S2. In this exhibition the Cologne based artist presents a new series of small and medium format oil paintings on wooden panels.

Since the beginning of his career, it is the seemingly simple things that spark Pesters interest and which ultimately turn out to be much more complex, or at least more complicated. The images, although they represent the trivial observations of everyday situations, are unsettling and appear to be completely familiar and modest. Thanks to their sketchiness, they remain open to the imaginations and associations of the viewer, which in spite of their simplicity makes their special charm

At the center of the new works is the kitchen as both a place of social interaction and of withdrawal. Here is where we cook, eat and speak. Here the day starts with a strong cup of coffee and ends at night with a nightcap and a cigarette. The kitchen is the playground of life’s everyday dramas, big and small. Even when for hours upon hours nothing happens while one looks sleepily out of the window. Pester captures in his works the moods of such episodes, as well as all the tones and possibilities of the before and after. While in some works the loneliness and silence are inscribed particularly strongly in the atmospheres, others dominate the rest with moments of humor (which in turn diminishes to the more serious subjects). Pester would not be Pester if he would not let himself be drawn to a wink or an ironic nod here and there, for example, in the case of the espresso-maker, a cartoon character pouring his own coffee for work. This is strongly reminiscent of the early Sigmar Polke or Jean-Frédéric Schnyder and is ultimately a self-centered view of the status of the artist himself: he / she must consume the capital production in order to be able to produce new products. For Pester, this means staying a stain of change, rather than specifying a method or a style.

Text by Elodie Evers