Here comes the night
February 26 - April 16, 2022
EXTENDED through April 30th
Opening Saturday, Feb.26th, 5-7PM when the natural light in the gallery best suits the work.
Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to present Here comes the night, Jule Korneffel’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The show features eight new paintings developed during a period of isolation and primarily but not exclusively in the darker hours of the day. In contrast to her first exhibition here, the works feature darker shades and are more rooted in the western tradition of painting.
Early in their inception, a significant source of inspiration for this body of work were Monet’s Water Lilies. The depiction of water was crucial to her investigation into color and layering. Only a vehicle for the light, water itself has no color yet we see it, not just in one static hue but in ever-changing multitudes of tones. Water is surface and depth, much like Korneffel’s paintings, where the initial flash of color might shift at different angles and in different light, through discreet yet deliberate washes of paint.
Korneffel’s pivot to darker tones came from two sources. One being the direct observation of light in her studio, with work on the series primarily done in the twilight hours when the sun sets and the light fades. The other is a renewed captivation with the chroma found in the Western canon. Within this series underlie a more direct connection to the Old Masters including Giotto, Botticelli, Bellini, Vuillard, Monet, and Rothko, and the unnamed 15th century creator of the Unicorn Tapestries.
These paintings for Korneffel are a revisit to her European roots in life and in art education. If her first exhibition at the gallery (here comes trouble, 2019) established a style based on American mark making and reductive abstraction grounded in original introspection, Here comes the night reaches out to recognizable scenes and archetypes that can be found in the collections of major museums. The tones, compositions, and symbols are severe yet familiar (which Korneffel supposes were an unconscious balm to the stress of those months).
As was the case with the first exhibition, the phrase “Here comes the night” is both portentous and heraldic. We will have to wait and see what the darkness brings. Working with darker tones revealed a different painting process for Korneffel. The dark tones resisted the light and often frustrated her like a riddle to be solved. With time and immersion, Korneffel ultimately found that they unfold in darkness. “Wenn die Nacht am tiefsten ist der Tag am nächsten” is a German idiom which, in meaning, translates to something like “In the deepest night, the day is nearest.”
Jule Korneffel, born in Germany, graduated from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2008 as Meisterschüler under Tal R. Since 2015 Korneffel has been based in New York City where she received an M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2018. After, she quickly gained attention for emotional but reductive paintings: recent shows include Phase Patterns at ltd los angeles, Here comes trouble at Spencer Brownstone in NYC, Mini Me Mary in Dialogue with Mary Heilmann at Albada Jelgersma Gallery in Amsterdam, All that kale at Claas Reiss Gallery in London, and most recently her work was featured on Platform Art (backed by David Zwirner) with Spencer Brownstone Gallery. Some recent press and writings are John Yau’s review "Color Is the Carrier of Emotion" in Hyperallergic (2019), "The Ongoing Present Moment of Making: Jule Korneffel" Interviewed by Hannah Bruckmüller in BOMB Magazine (2021), Terry R. Myers’ essay on occasion of her show at Claas Reiss (2020/2021).