This year at the Dallas Art Fair, Hosfelt Gallery presents a solo booth of paintings and works on paper by Cornelius Völker. In his signature lavish style, Völker investigates the history of representational painting by focusing on the genres of still life and portraiture, albeit though a 21st century lens.
Prominent in this exhibition are massive floral works, referring to Dutch still life paintings of the 17th century and the convention of flowers serving as memento mori – reminders of the brevity and fragility of life. But while the method of the historical painter was to realistically reflect the blown blooms they portrayed, Völker’s paintings are literally paintings of the reflection of blossoms on a glossy tabletop — meditations on the nature of mediation. More than any other time in history, we view the world through simulacrum as opposed to actual experience.
As evidenced in his rich application of oil paint, Völker delights in the physical, the sensual, and the sumptuous. His push-pull of composition and decomposition and the tenuous nature of his subjects remind us that despite the tidiness of the digital age and our efforts to cheat time, we exist in a world of slippery deterioration.
Cornelius Völker was born in Kronach, Germany in 1965 and studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is a professor of painting at the Kunstakademie Münster. His work has been the subject of many solo museum shows throughout Europe, including a recent major retrospective of his works at the Kunsthalle Münster.