Klemens Gasser: There Will Be...Without You

February 27 – March 26, 2016

There Will Be Painted Buntings Without You 20151201 4.19PM, 2015

Press Release

Klemens Gasser

There Will Be...Without You


One day we were lizards.  Then we were birds.  

Today we are, hmm, what we are.  Tomorrow, maybe, we’ll be something else.  Something unimaginable.  We will take flight.
Tanja Grunert Gallery is please to announce Klemens Gasser's exhibition at 524 West 19th Street in Chelsea. Klemens Gasser, in his third solo show, frisks on the shoreline of transcendence; the transcendence of consciousness, of photography, and of art.  Gasser’s bird portraits are curious doppelgängers for the rarified photographs of bird photographers; ultra-sharp and super-saturated.  But Gasser, who selected from tens of thousands of photographs, didn’t opt for the ultra-sharp, and didn’t photoshop for super-saturation.  Gasser’s photographs, handheld and of the moment, are as is: as framed, as captured in-camera.  It is a seemingly impossible distinction; the work of the ornithologist from the work of art.  But in Gasser’s portraits, here it is.  Consciousness.  That is perhaps the high bar that Gasser insists upon, a simultaneous act of awareness: bird, artist, viewer.




Gasser is himself a creature of transcendence: art dealer to artist.  But aren’t we all transcendent?  Isn’t our notion of sameness, of permanence, a construct that’s dubious, and increasingly dated?  The fleeting sentience of birds is extraordinary to us; amazing and majestic and frenzied and silly.  But that same sentience, of course, is our own sentience, and our self-importance, absurd and self-fulfilling, is our only pretense otherwise.  
We live in cities, with wild birds only a few yards away; the naturalism of Gasser’s ornithology is that of a subway goer, and for the most part takes place within the confines of the city.  The internet community of bird watchers, not the solitary wilderness, served as Gasser’s muse; the hawk has been spotted in Central Park, etc.  The quietude of bird watching is itself a deception; it is high tech and twitter friendly.  Tripods and long lenses and fancy computers and forums and forums.  And here we are, we too, waiting to take flight.  
--John Reed