Jan Zöller: FOR EVERY THING THAT IS SHOWN, SOME THING IS HIDDEN at Kunstverein Friedrichshafen

Solo Exhibition:
Jan Zöller
For every thing that is shown, some thing is hidden
Kunstverein Friedrichshafen
25.06.2022 – 31.08.2022

We are delighted to announce the solo exhibition of Jan Zöller, for every thing that is shown, some thing is hidden, at Kunstverein Friedrichshafen, in Friedrichshafen, (DE).

Jan Zöller creates fantastic worlds which however never lose touch with reality. With their radiantly intense colours and clear forms, his paintings may seem almost childlike. But it quickly becomes clear that they are anything but naïve. For Zöller reflects on the relationships and dependencies between people and systems, on social and societal dynamics as well as on economic cycles. And to do so he uses his own iconography of recurring motifs.

Urban structures appear in the form of fountains, walls and streetlamps. Nature as guilelessly painted trees and bushes or stylised magpies and ravens. Trouser legs show up constantly as well, running restlessly through the pictures. Sometimes they are disembodied, other times their upper bodies consist of fountain pools or the aforementioned birds. Their “function” or essence does not seem to be fixed. It is clear, nevertheless, that they have something human about them, which in turn allows the assumption that they are metaphors for being human or personifications of the human.

They are then also depicted in the most diverse everyday situations, in which, however, something always seems to be out of whack. Everything is in motion, even hectic, which reveals the actual theme of Zöller’s works. They circle around the question what it means as an individual, to be integrated into a late capitalist society of exploitation and performance from which there is no escape. Not even in or with art. Thus, Zöller repeatedly addresses the art business with its production, presentation and reception processes, practices and codes and makes the system in which he finds himself as an artist, as well as his own experiences within these structures, the foundation of his practice. Although this biographical aspect is not revealed boldly, it is always present and perceptible in his works and exhibitions.

Therefore, it is only consistent that in For every thing that is shown, some thing is hidden he plays with the expectations attached to an exhibition in general and to a painting exhibition in particular. For although exhibiting also means showing at the same time, he also redeems what is already implied in the title. 

Through installative interventions, one increasingly gets the feeling of standing in a three-dimensional version of the paintings. Inevitably, in these expansive ensembles, one becomes the restless trouser legs, magpies and ravens that populate Jan Zöller’s paintings. This goes hand in hand with the fact that the exhibition is also a stage set for a play that he is currently developing with his childhood friend Felix Baumann. The installation of the exhibition is already the first act of the collaboration and serves to test how elements of the visual and performing arts can be combined and enter into an exchange.

For every thing that is shown, some thing is hidden is thus not a conventional painting exhibition in which the viewers are sprinkled by images. Rather, they must work their way through the exhibition to open it up, to discover it and to find what they were possibly (not) looking for. They are rewarded with a kind of projection screen that allows to reflect, from a certain distance, on our own existence, what we strive for, what we desire and what social and societal function we fulfil.

For every thing that is shown, some thing is hidden, in on view from 25 July 2022 to 31 August 2022, at Kunstverein Friedrichshafen, in Friedrichshafen, (DE)