Jutta Koether: Our Love is Here to Stay Online Viewing Room - Lévy Gorvy

Viewing Room

Jutta Koether: Our Love is Here to Stay

May 1–15, 2020



Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Jutta Koether: Our Love is Here to Stay, an online presentation of seven drawings made between early March and mid-April, at the artist’s Berlin home and studio. These intimate works, executed in ink and felt-tip pen, form a coda of sorts to Koether’s first solo exhibition with Lévy Gorvy: her much admired survey of paintings opened at the gallery’s New York space on 27 February, only to be closed soon thereafter in response to the pandemic. Responding to the conditions of self-isolation, Koether has continued to create. Her new, intensely layered and richly colored drawings reflect the psychological conditions surrounding their making: at times cacophonous and manic, by turns meditative and joyful, cryptic, and referential drawings, they achieve the combined effect of a love letter to artmaking.

For Koether, painting has always been a performance, its making, exhibition, and circulation always durational and interpersonal. In the prose poem collaboratively penned with Lévy Gorvy’s Begum Yasar and recently published in the artist’s book Demonic Options, painting describes itself as “a locus of (self-) consciousness. Showing off all traces of its becoming with a grin – its skin, its possessions, its hang-ups, its false glamor.”  Have we ever collectively felt more self-conscious? Like most of us nowadays, these drawings show all traces of their own becoming in their magnificently complex and vivid gestures. The artist’s handwriting merges with the printed matter intermittently legible on the paper, giving away the identity of her support: the exhibition checklist of one of her fellow artists, Michael Krebber.

Koether considers these new drawings a continuation of her xxapollo performance in early January at Artists Space, New York. The same flower motif seen in many of these drawings appeared in the heart-shaped canvas at that event, where the artist danced with the painting while Ella Fitzgerald’s voice could be heard singing “Our Love is Here to Stay.” If Koether’s dance evoked a deluge of tender feelings in the Artists Space audience, that small painting’s later appearance on a wall of its own in the exhibition at Lévy Gorvy elicited a collective eruption of desire.

While uncertainty, fear, grief, and confinement affect us all globally, Koether suggests hope can spring from the current constraints. Although her flower has a confined center, that small red rectangle, one can feel it dilating outward with an irresistible centrifugal force that bursts with possibilities. “Tout feu, tout femme,” continues the poem, “a psychic portrait of its time, of the artist as uprising spirit.”


Jutta Koether: Our Love is Here to Stay is part of an ongoing series of online presentations benefitting #FirstRespondersFirst. An initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation, #FirstRespondersFirst helps provide essential protective equipment, accommodations, child care, food, mental health support, and other resources to first responder healthcare workers as they serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Koether’s works will be donated to the cause. For more information, click here.

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