Johannes Zits explores themes of intimacy by mixing his own images with those appropriated from advertising and popular culture. The work is distinguished by his careful consideration to formal details as exemplified by his digital prints, videos, installations, and projections. Johannes Zits's representations of bodies are fragmented through his use of collage and painting. This visual and conceptual complexity allow his work to operate on many levels and include the exploration of the construction of sexual identity, the relationships between the public and the private, voyeurism, consumption, love and intimacy.
Johannes Zits received his BFA from the York University (1984). He works in a variety of disciplines including painting, printmaking, digital manipulation, and video. He has shown extensively both nationally and internationally. He has also attended international residencies in Banff, Taipei, Paris, Rotterdam and Berlin. Some recent exhibitions include Fotogalerie (2000) Vienna; Parkhaus (2002) Berlin; Manifestation International D'art De Quebec (2003) Quebec City; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, (2003) Toronto; Musterhaus (2004) Berlin; Biz Art (2006) Shanghai and is represented in Toronto by Spin Gallery and in Montreal by Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain. The video Style On Skin premiered at the Tranztech Video Festival, (2003) Toronto The video Guys Night In has be screened recently for The End of the World, (2003) Staircase Theatre, Hamilton; Video Art Plastique, (2002) Herouville, Sainte-Claire, France; Dutch Treats, 2002 Roze Filmdagen, Amsterdam.
April 21 - May 22, 2004
Johannes Zitz: The Berlin Suite and selected works by Attila Richard Lukacs
Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of recent works by Johannes Zits, and selected works by Attila Richard Lukacs. Johannes Zits recent work entitled: "The Berlin Suite" is a series of photo-based pieces produced by Johannes Zits during a recent artist residency in Berlin, Germany. This work was first presented at The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto 2003. "The Berlin Suite" was developed from a series of photographs taken in the apartments of friends living there. The artist states:
"I am dealing with intimacy but I don't think that the sexual orientation of the people in these pieces is of paramount importance. The pieces speak more about my own formal concerns. The background layer is a photo that has been blown up in the printing process to reveal its digital composition. Looking at the background close up one sees how the computer has organized the information of the interiors into squares of colours. The digital photo situates the work specifically to our contemporary times. It is also juxtaposed to two other formal elements that bring in historical references. The dot screen pattern that makes up the figures alludes to the art of the sixties (Liechtenstein, Warhol and Johns) and the painted element pays homage to the art from the beginning of the last century. Both of these historical time periods signify the beginnings of liberalization, profound changes and outpourings of ideas and concepts. Does my work suggest that we are also living in a period of great changes and flux? It is a question I am leaving for the viewers to contemplate.
The other things I want to mention is that the three different elements that I have combined are deliberately not pure or straightforward. The figures have been collaged into the given space, the work is neither a photograph nor a painting, and in the painted elements you can see the brush stroke contradicting a supposed style that I am paying homage to." - Johannes Zits
This is Johannes Zits second exhibition at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain. His first show "Bien dans sa peau" was highlighted in Spirale (2002), which featured an extensive portfolio of images. Last year, his work was included in the biennal Manif D`art in Quebéc city curated by Bernard Lamarche.
In addition to Johannes Zits were are also pleased to announce a special presentation of Attila Richard Lukacs in collaboration with Lehmann Leskiw and Schedler Fine art. The gallery will be exhibiting two small paintings and "Boy With Green Arms", 1998, a large-format paper work. Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain would like to extend special thanks to Lehmann Leskiw and Schedler Fine art for their collaboration.
1. Spirale, Images fantasmatiques, Bien dans sa peau de Johannes Zits, November – December 2002 – No 187, pg 43-48 2. Manif D`art
2. Plongez dans l`art actuel à Québec du 1er au 31 Mai 2003. pg. 32
February 23 - March 30, 2002
Johannes Zits: Bien dans sa peau
Johannes Zits's work explores the idea of transgression as it relates to both public and private spaces. His images attempt to challenge the viewer, and to make us question how these spaces are defined, mediated, and consumed. This body of work has developed from his interest in the representations of intimacy, the body, and mass media. Lifestyle and interior design magazines are of particular interest to the artist, who is fascinated by the ways in which they expose private living spaces for public consumption. Privacy becomes spectacle in the same way that sexual acts become pornography when they are made public; both have the intention to tease and tantalize. In his work, Johannes Zits combines porn and interior design iconography into unconventional domestic scenes.
Over the past four years Johannes has been painting figures onto digitized interiors that have been appropriated from magazines. For his first solo exhibition at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, the artist will present a new series of works where he has added collage to the painted figures. The collage material comes from a wide variety of sources, such as a flyer from a local grocer or an ad for a telephone chat-line. For some of the works he has painted directly onto the pages of interior design magazines. Other pieces have been enlarged in order to emphasize the dot screen pattern of the original printed source.
Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain will present concurrently the most recent video by Johannes Zits entitled Guys Night In. The video was produced for a residency at Trinity Square Video in Toronto and premiered last fall at the TransTech Video Festival. For this time-based work, Johannes has applied a similar collage technique to the guests attending a potluck party. Through a combination of images and sounds we can glimpse at what is being thought, mediated and consumed. What can happen while doing the dishes on a hot summer night?