In Your Living Room

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In Your Living Room #16
Tobias Osterhaus & Shoshanna Gorovits 
Written by Iliada Chralambous 

In the ‘In Your Living Room’ exhibition the artists Tobias Osterhaus and Roza Oudgenoeg  were presented where the two dimensional field of painting was explored by the two artists on many small paintings.

At start, the environment of a student living room used as an exhibition space offers a twist to the formal aspects of exhibiting , however it can be a trap in disguise for the artist.  Although the living room atmosphere provides a rather cosy sense of approach for the exhibition it also stresses out the fact of the exhibition being conducted by a student group. This may be seen as obtaining an aspect of the underground scene but also a move towards experimental and alternative ways of showing art. In comparison with previous exhibitions conducted by In Your Living Room, this exhibition was an attempt to approach an exhibition in the scenes of the white cube. The atmosphere of the living room itself was decreased up to a certain point with the covering and elimination of furniture in the space. This move can be seen , in my view, as attempting to have a rather more conventional approach for an exhibition where some of the aspects of a gallery space started to appear.  Although through my eyes this is a positive step, it may also be observed as a decrease of the uniqueness of the space and the character of In Your Living Room so far, up to a point.

Moreover, the works exhibited by the two artists could easily capture the attention of the audience despite their size. Roza Oudgenoeg explores painting itself in her canvases where thick paint is applied to create somewhat abstract and surrealist portraits. The medium seems to be expanding towards the three dimensional form in her work; however her paintings, as far as my opinion in concerned, are practically about exploring painting itself through flat backgrounds and completely busy with paint foregrounds that seem to emerge outside of the canvas.

Furthermore, in the small canvases of Tobias Osterhaus the qualities of blue as a colour appeared to be explored and observed. Fluctuating between figurative and abstract painting the artist engaged only in the use of cold colors which might be seen as concentration on this particular colour scheme or a focus in a specific type of psychological mood. In both cases, the paintings manage to attract the audience’s interest where they were in complete contrast with the paintings of Oudgenoeg, thus creating an interesting contrast in this exhibition.

In conclusion, the combination of the two artists here provided a space with contrast in the medium yet in a very calmly constructed exhibition. Through my perspective both artists demonstrate painting in itself however in two completely different ways which makes their presentation together quiet intriguing. Also the approach of this show in a space resembling the white cube offered the opportunity for a good focus on the paintings, which could do justice to the artists.

Iliada Chralambous