Exhibition view:
Tobias Kaspar, Midway, Minneapolis, 2013
Photo: Gene Pitmann

Ostensibly adopting a modernist vein, the origin of the abstract panels "Stripped Bare" is much less pure. It is appropriated by the artist from the page of the contemporary lifestyle magazine The Gentlewoman. Inside this highly designed publication, these patterns introduce the various “chapters” of the spring/summer 2013 issue - strangely embedding both the structure of a novel and modernist visual aesthetics within a magazine format. Kaspar’s parroting of this watered- down aesthetics forms a delicate critique, with titles such as Stripped Bare (Exhibition Announcement) co-opting the unsettling breezy nature of the magazine (the issue from which these patterns are drawn from is itself titled ‘abstract naiveties’). It is this slippage within the production, reproduction circulation, and consumption production cycle found in advertising and fashion that Kaspar is more than willing to embrace in his practice. While institutional critique typically relies on distance, Kaspar’s relative close proximity to his subject matter creates a delicate conceptual position.
(Midway, Sept. 2013)

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