Simon Linke is perhaps the only human being far more involved with the longevity of this publication than its editors. For just about four decades, Linke has concentrated on a single topic: the shiny advertisements for approaching exhibitions that show up in Artforum’s regular monthly print edition. His painstakingly precise reproductions catapulted him to fame as a major member of the YBA generation. Nonetheless, Linke’s singular target belies the nuanced variations his Artforum job has undergone around the previous 30-five years.
The artist’s latest exhibition at Darren Flook, a two-space retrospective of Linke’s greatest hits, reveals a slow transition from exact replicas of the leaflets to extra materially focused interpretations. Earlier functions, like Barbara Kruger at Fischbach Gallery, 1989, mimic the orderly arrangement of print ads with flat, even brushstrokes that generate a in the vicinity of-great imitation of the first. Redolent of Photos-technology artists like Richard Prince and Sherrie Levine, Linke’s early works evoke the cultural and monetary price of print adverts. By replicating these illustrations or photos as paintings, he renders visible the finance-centered ability buildings that underpin artwork criticism.
In latest yrs, Linke has taken a much more gestural tactic, implementing thick layers of oil paint with spectacular brushstrokes. In Lucio Fontana at Hauser and Wirth, 2021, Linke abstracts a photograph of Fontana’s Ambiente spaziale con neon, 1967, offering a painterly interpretation of the gallery’s commercially driven exhibition photograph. Even as Linke has moved towards a more impressionistic rendering of the advertisements’ photos, he has continued to meticulously replicate the text with mechanical precision. In these later on performs, the boundaries in between the clean strains of the letters and the rough waves of paint come to be extra abrupt. It’s a fitting metaphor for Linke’s aim, which has evolved from a wish to expose the economic supports that buttress 1 of the art world’s biggest publications to an investigation into the (supposed) obsolescence of print media. These new paintings foreground the tactility of the printed site, a reminder of our distance from this ageing usually means of distribution and the hierarchies it the moment embodied.