Andreas Slominski's show at Sadie Coles HQ will comprise of a new series of polystyrene pictures. Sculpted from wallsize slabs of Styrofoam and spray-painted with a primary and fluorescent palette, these paintings skirt around definitions of painting and sculpture. Evocative of the everyday, they incorporate polystyrene renderings of objects as diverse as a saucepan of egg yolks, skis, a woodworking tool, and boat-objects, all of which suggest a hidden iconography linked to earlier series of sculpture by the artist. Their tropical colours and souvenir-like qualities are reminiscent of a strange journey, one that Slominski reveals through constructed mementos and literal imprints. Made by means of layers, from the engraved polystyrene up, these pieces are contained in heavy steel frames. Framing these pieces in such a way might suggest the completion and compression of the action illustrated inside. As in other work, Slominski upsets his viewer's stable footing by proposing a mystery to be solved. In this way, Slominski has created a new way of engaging the viewer in favour of impression over documentation. Although aesthetically dissimilar to his previous work, the performative actions and conceptual roots remain.
Slominski is perhaps best known for his traps. These traps, whether conventional, constructed or invented, show Slominski's fanatical mindfulness to detail. Although much of his work is characteristically impractical in its completion, his custom-made traps for individual animals reveal an efficiency-driven side. Like a great deal of Slominski's work, the humour lies in the extreme attention to detail.
Much of Slominski's work is deliberately painstaking. His absurd methods are characterized in work like Cough Syrup Transport System, 1998, which entailed placing a spoonful of cough syrup into a Cardan's suspension apparatus used to keep mariner's compasses horizontal. This was then secured within a vibration-resistant safe, placed in a van and transported from one end of Berlin to the other, completing its journey at the Deutsche Guggenheim at Unter den Linden. All the viewer sees is the spoonful of cough syrup, but his clues reveal a deliberately painstaking route. Photographs and text clearly document his progress. With these new polystyrene pictures, the final conclusion is more ambiguous.
Andreas Slominski was born in Meppen, Germany in 1959. Between 1983 and 1986 he studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg. Recent solo shows have been held at MMK, Frankfurt am Main, 2007, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2007, and at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 2005. He has contributed to numerous international group shows including ...5 minutes later at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2008. He has been the subject of many monographs including Andreas Slominski (MMK, 2007) and Andreas Slominski (Germano Celant, 2005). He lives and works in Hamburg and Werder, Germany.