What brought Carsten Fock to the art world’s attention was his work comprising drawings and paintings, into which he integrated slogans, symbols, lines from song lyrics and quotations. Within this work he would attempt to deal with such diverse subjects as art, fashion, pop, the military, advertising and politics. In so doing, the concepts and symbols that he adapted became semiotically readable while at the same time they also fulfilled a purely formal function.
Letterings and logos appear like provisional pieces of thought archi-tecture that are being transformed, revised and thrown into question. Fock obliterates them, heightens or destroys them, or superimposes them with cross-hatchings, which may also smother the entire picture like some rhythmical grid.
In his more recent drawings Fock, a student of Per Kirkeby, has, how-ever, forgone using writing or figurative elements almost completely. He uses perfunctory markings, such as horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines, to generate an illusion of perspective – only to allow these spu-rious intimations of horizons, forests or mountain tops collapse into abstract compositions.
His landscape drawings, simultaneously gestural and analytical, evoke forms of art, which can be contextualised with transcendence, religion, ecstasy and inner experience; also with German romanticism, expressionism, Christian iconography and the art of the outsider. The concept of the artist as a visionary, an avantgarde outsider, creating “pure” and “original” works is, however, called into question by Fock in his analytical and serial experimental arrangements. Such continuous repetition engenders discrete ciphers, which signal not only the col-lapse, the demise of modernism, but also its resurrection, an expres-sion of the hope for a genuine progress in art.
Text in German by Oliver Koerner von Gustorf