ExHypnosis Dylan Solomon Kraus
Peres Projects is pleased to present ExHypnosis by Dylan Solomon Kraus (b. 1987 in Ohio, US), the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the first in Berlin.
If hypnosis leads to an automatic, unthinking way of relating to others and the world, ExHypnosis is the shock of wakefulness which corresponds to a renewed sense of personal agency. The relics, fauna, and celestial phenomena that populate the paintings of Dylan Solomon Kraus reach through the viewer’s gaze as though pulling back a curtain. What was formerly only a symbol becomes a living language—an expressive menagerie as articulate as the zodiac.
Kraus’ paintings insinuate a different way of seeing, which in turn implies a different way of relating to our environment. However otherworldly his canvases might at first appear, to spend time with them is to understand how they refer to the world we daily inhabit. Boats, sun, the moon, horses, intimations of the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii—all of these are freed from the somnolence of myth, and made to trace out the dimensions of a world that mimics our own. Once the cobwebbed shadows of habitual perception are pulled away, a sort of semaphore seems to emanate from all things, spelling out hidden narratives which we’re always already a part of, but were previously unable to translate.
Eschewing the perspectives afforded by en plein air immersion, Kraus’ dreamlike landscapes negotiate unfamiliar temporal ruptures in a way that is directly communicative—like a sudden epiphanic flash on a crowded bus. Mapping out the radial course of different times of day, for instance, forms an essential feature of many of Kraus’ works. By way of recurring motifs, such as the sun and the moon, time comes to differentiate itself from any singular meaning. The spectral intuition that what was possible a moment ago will not be possible only a moment later fans out like a tarot deck, representing discrete realities across a discontinuous sequence of available worlds.
Throughout ExHypnosis, Kraus’ eye for coloration makes possible a nonlinear reworking of our understanding of spatial and temporal relationships. His intensifications of color enact what light seemed to do in the ancient world: they enwrap visibility in an air of discovery. Color becomes a direct transport toward vistas that feel thoroughly grounded despite their preternatural aspects. Sky becomes saturated with hues typically only viewable at certain times of day. Similarly, a rider with his horse, as they escape from the city behind them, darkly communicates how we emotionally register time by measuring the distance of persons as they travel away from us.
The motifs Kraus leans on most heavily constitute a trinity of bird, butterfly, and moon—all of which connote time as much as space; immeasurable distance and the facility of our imaginations to collapse different objects into one impossible configuration. However universal the pantheon of objects, figures, and places Kraus is referring to, the lexicon he establishes through them incorporates nuanced shades of meaning borrowed from quotidian perception. What does it mean to see a bird? And how has this concept changed since the days of Aristotle? Kraus sees an elemental identity running through the experience, say, of a swallow ambiguously marking the beginning of summer. Focusing on how his figures elide into the perpetual certainties of our everyday environment, familiar realities become suggestive of some hidden allegory, like a numinous tapestry woven from the recurrence of the seasons.
Reimagining the real in a recursive manner—using animistic, durational figures for a key—Kraus maps out a world intrinsically wedded to a time that transcends history. Using color to achieve a synoptic point of view where the intuition of time, accessible only to the visionary imagination, becomes a landscape, the contours and topography of this darkly visible realm are then rendered so as to feel simultaneously expansive and uncharted. However directly Kraus’ paintings allude to something familiar, something we were once too distracted to account for properly, his emphatic redressing of time as something inimical to materiality and inertia—a chatoyant language searing all things lugubrious and fixed—serves as a gnostic summoner which drags viewers into a state of ex-hypnosis.
— Jeffrey Grunthaner
This is Dylan Solomon Kraus’ third solo exhibition with Peres Projects and his first in the Berlin gallery. His recent solo exhibitions include the inevitability of alignment, Peres Projects, Seoul, Spotlight: Dylan Kraus’ Corvus Cornix, Almine Rech, London, Holy Unrest, Peres Projects, Milan, That Which Reveals Itself to Those It May Concern, Mamoth, London, and Dylan Kraus: The Shining, Entrance, New York. Kraus has also participated in a number of group exhibitions in New York, including Moonflower at Europa, Everything is Personal at Tramps, and Horology at Jack Hanley. He was also part of the recent group exhibition La saison creuse at Hoffmann Maler Wallenberg, Nice, France.
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