Paul Jacobsen: Mourning Flags

January 12 – February 18, 2017

Press Release

Paul Jacobsen

Mourning Flags


Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12th, 6-8pm

Thursday, January 12th, - Saturday, February 18th, 2017


As we careen towards the inauguration of our new President, Galerie Tanja Grunert is pleased to present Mourning Flags, Paul Jacobsen’s fifth solo show with the Gallery.  In this show Jacobsen will install a group of his charcoal drawings of black flags.  The black flag has been an anti-authoritarian symbol since at least the 1880’s and represents the absence of and opposition to the nation state.  Jacobsen has been making his “Charcoal Flags” for the past 8 years, framing them in charred wood, along with allowing the charcoal to run.  In doing so he not only addresses political concerns but draws the viewers’ attention back to the meanings of the material used to produce the work.  








After a year in which the world has been subjected to the spectacle of democracy, the proper role of government is on the minds of many.  Jacobsen asserts that democracy and authoritarianism are not mutually exclusive and that although America has been far from egalitarian since its genocidal beginnings, we have just added another embarrassing chapter to the book of history.  So for this show these works are not as much about the ideals of an economy with worker collectives and consumer cooperatives.  Instead this represents a moment of silence for all of the hard fought victories of native, civil, women’s and gay rights that are threatened now more than ever.  It mourns the environmental and labor protections that are already being gravely attacked under this new regime.