In Juergen Krause’s work, the daily act of preparation becomes a site of examination, as the artist repeats the same movement, incision, or sharpening until the process itself gains quality. Krause continuously works on the same five bodies of work every day – Primer, Paper Cut Work, Tools, Pencils, and Hand Drawings. These five series emphasize processes of preparation and prolonged meditation in an age when the contemporary can be conflated with immediacy. Krause sharpens pencils until he cannot sharpen them anymore; he primes paper until he cannot prime it anymore – the resulting objects become metaphors for these intervals of time. Krause highlights our relationship to objects as they exist in time with his measured methods, turning his own attention into a material. By working with the disciplines of preparation, his work harnesses concentration in tangible forms.
For Pencils, he uses a knife to chip off the wood around pencils in flakes until he reaches the lead at the center of each. Rather than direct us to what these tools might make, the artist demonstrates how his steadily applied attention transformed them. Similarly, for his tools, he continually grinds blades on whetting stones, gradually wearing down the edges. In each of these series, Krause uses basic acts of cutting, wearing, sharpening using the uniform tools by which art is commonly made. His Primer series works are achieved by his application of numerous layers of primer to both sides of a piece of paper, resulting in fragile but dense objects. For his Hand Drawings Krause draws lines freehand, lengthwise and crosswise, as if on squared paper, as with his Paper Cut Work, for which Krause cuts by hand using a knife to carve out holes that are as round as possible from white sheets of paper. In these two series, the artist acts as ordering principle, reclaiming by hand, or by art, what more advanced tools might achieve.
Krause’s work takes cues the Middle Ages, as he makes use of historical references ranging from early recipes for primer to Giotto’s circle, but most strongly looks toward the precise forms of 1960s minimalists and the labor-based rituals of the conceptual. Continuing in the stamina-based traditions of artists such as Hanne Darboven or On Kawara. Krause’s work reflects on the primary tools of art-making and therefore he marks, the very first gestures of the artist.
Juergen Krause was born in 1971 in Tettnang, Germany, and lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Selected solo exhibitions include "Juergen Krause" at Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany (2013); "Juergen Krause: Grundierungen (Primers)" at Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2012); "Juergen Krause: Blattschneidearbeit (Paper Cut Work) 2009 - 2010" at Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2010); "Juergen Krause: Arbeiten" at Kunstverein Nuernberg, Nuernberg, Germany (2005). Major group exhibitions include "Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Juergen Krause, Adam McEwen, Seth Price, Michael Riedel" at Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2012); "Thomas Bayrle, Juergen Krause, Michael Riedel, Jens Risch, Peter Roehr" at Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2012); "Florian Jenett & Juergen Krause: Wo es beginnt da hoert es auch auf" at 1822 Forum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2010); "Alle Zeit der Welt" at Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, Germany (2008); "Motion/Stop" at Museum Bad Arolsen, Bad Arolsen, Germany (2006); "9. Triennale für Kleinplastik" at Fellbach, Germany. Juergen Krause's first exhibition with Bischoff Projects was in 2010.
August 27 – November 20, 2016
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland
June 06 – September 04, 2016
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
March 20 – July 31, 2016
Museen Haus Lange und Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany
December 12, 2015 – February 28, 2016
Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria
November 20, 2015 – March 28, 2016
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden, Germany
March 21 – April 14, 2015
Kunstverein Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
January 15 - March 15, 2015
Kunsthaus Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany
November 22, 2014 - February 1, 2015
Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany
July 20 - August 31, 2014
Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Ludwigshafen, Germany
August 23 - November 17, 2013
Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany