David Ostrowski     Michail Pirgelis     Gerda Scheepers
Installation Views
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
David Ostrowski, F (Taktik an der Theke), 2017
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
David Ostrowski, F (Taktik an der Theke), 2017
Michail Pirgelis, Volenteer, 2014
Gerda Scheepers, Ohne Titel III (Zunehmend engere Verknüpfungen Serie - Studio), 2008
Michail Pirgelis, Écluse, 2017
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Michail Pirgelis, Volenteer, 2014
Gerda Scheepers, Ohne Titel III (Zunehmend engere Verknüpfungen Serie - Studio), 2008
Michail Pirgelis, Écluse, 2017
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Gerda Scheepers, Ohne Titel III (Zunehmend engere Verknüpfungen Serie - Studio), 2008
Michail Pirgelis, Écluse, 2017
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Michail Pirgelis, Panorama, 2017
Gerda Scheepers, TARAS Bookies 2007 / 2009, 2009
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Michail Pirgelis, Panorama, 2017
Gerda Scheepers, TARAS Bookies 2007 / 2009, 2009
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Gerda Scheepers, Ohne Titel II (Zunehmend engere Verknüpfungen Serie - Studio), 2008
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
Gerda Scheepers, Ohne Titel II (Zunehmend engere Verknüpfungen Serie - Studio), 2008
David Ostrowski, F (DONT), 2017
Bild des Tages, 2017, exhibition view
David Ostrowski, F (DONT), 2017






All the images courtesy of the artists and Sprüth Magers.
Photos by Diego Diez and Hans-Georg Gaul.
Room Text
Perhaps the whole white cube thing is not about neutrality, but rather about being immaculate - creating a smooth counterpart to the nuanced details, colours and forms that are so often integral to contemporary painting. Perhaps it is the formal elements of these incredibly clean spaces that work alongside these small gestures, integrating them with every day life rather than separating them.

While looking at contemporary painting can sometimes feel too quick, too impenetrable, too far from tradition, perhaps the exhibition environment as a whole facilitates the greater spectrum of our expectations and ideas. If perspective cannot be found on the canvas surface, one point perspective (the artist) and two point perspective (the artist and the mediator) are still in full play. If composition is entirely absent in the frame, composition in space becomes wholly installed. And while contrast is sometimes missed within the work, it is often through the tone of our everyday lives that it is re-found.

Painting revolutionized itself through a trajectory of abstraction that aspired for each canvas to contain the essence of the medium. However, contemporary painting has long reopened its frames to wider ideas. While entire expanses of contemporary canvas are often reserved for singular gestures, and the simplest sketches of everyday moments are often exposed, it is the oeuvre - built layer upon layer across time and across space – that reveals a dense, richly textured research built through the accumulation of details that each work provides.

Taken in consideration with the room, the biographies, the social and historical context, each work can be then be seen as a brushstroke - working collaboratively to create generous images, rather than being restricted to the conventionally regarded frame.


Artist Biographies
David Ostrowski lives and works in Cologne.
Ostrowski studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Albert Oehlen from 2004–2009. He was awarded the Atelierstipendium by the Kölnischer Kunstverein and the Imhoff-Stiftung, Cologne, in 2012.Ostrowski’s work was shown most recently at the solo exhibition Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch at Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona (2017). He has also exclusively take part in DONT the Music and Art Performance at Halle 9 Kirowwerk, Leipzig (2017).
Further solo exhibitions include his two person exhibition To Lose with Michail Pirgelis at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren (2016), The F Word at the ARKEN Museum, Copenhagen, and I want to die forever at Kunstraum Innsbruck (both 2015), as well as How to do things left at Rubell Family Collection, Miami and Just do it at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (both 2014). Ostrowski’s work was also included in group exhibitions at the M Woods Museum, Beijing (2015), Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (2014), and at the ICA, London (2014).


Michail Pirgelis lives and works in Cologne.
Pirgelis studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Rosemarie Trockel from 2004–2009. In 2013 he participated at Deste Prize, Athens and 5x5 Castelló, Castelló (Spain) and received the Berlin grant from Akademie der Künste. In 2010 he also received the Audi Art Award for New Positions at Art Cologne and was an artist in residence at Schloss Ringenberg.
In 2008 he was the first award recipient of the Adolf Loos Prize from the Van den Valentyn Foundation, Cologne. In 2007 he was awarded the Villa Romana Prize in Florence. Pirgelis’ work was shown most recently in the solo exhibition To Lose together with David Ostrowski at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren (2016), as well as at Autocenter Berlin (2015) and at the Artothek in Cologne (2011).
Group shows include shows at the White Columns Foundation (2017), the Rubell Familly Collection, Miami (2015), Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2014), Istanbul Modern (2013), Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2012), Thessaloniki Biennale (2011), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010), Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf (2005).


Gerda Scheepers lives and works in Capetown, South Africa.
Scheepers studied in the Netherlands and later at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf with Rosemarie Trockel. She was awarded a number of prizes, including the Art Cologne Preis für junge Kunst in 2005 and the Marianne-Defet-Malerei Stipendium in 2011. Selected solo exhibitions include ones at Blank Projects, Capetown (2016), Kunstverein Nürnberg (2012), the Koffer in Berlin (2010), Mary Mary Gallery in Glasgow (2012) and the Artothek in Köln (2007).
Selected group exhibitions include Kunstverein Munich (2013), Oslo 10, Basel (2012), Halle für Kunst Lüneburg e.V. (2010), Kölnischer Kunstverein with Rosemarie Trockel (2007) and Neue Kunsthalle, St. Gallen with Thea Djordjadze and Rosemarie Trockel (2006).


Closing; Gouter Sonore
On Sunday 14th of January, Plǝt- celebrated Bild Des Tages one last time: reframing the works of David, Michail and Gerda through internal contexts (taste) and spatial contexts (sound). Conducted by artists Alan Bolumar and Maria Nolla, Goûter Sonore was an afternoon imbued with records and tastes purposefully selected to accompany the works in their final presentation as Bild Des Tages.

As usual, we accidentally attacked our new arrivers with tea and cake before they even had chance to remove their coats. But as luck would have it, the typical grey Dutch day enticed each visitor to graciously accept our hyperactive hospitality. The living room soon hummed with conversations sprawling across the bed-turned-couch and floor-flung cushions. The free floor space became a labyrinth of limbs, and the lights – left in their mode of living-room yellow – softened the paintings into the walls as they hung above the music.

Alan, crouching between Volunteer and Éclude, played undulating sounds, absorbing conversations and swallowing them whole, or swindling half thoughts away from mouths and heightening attention to other voices lapping through the music. The green strokes of David’s F(Taktik an der Theke) began merging with its paper-pasted surface - the creases becoming accentuated by the shadowy light.

This time, the conversations seemed to bypass Michail, Gerda and David, staying closer to the paintings’ surfaces instead. Hosting visitors from inner to outer space, Goûter Sonore saw marketers to bankers join art kids to designers - with the painters’ names retreating behind the walls. The works, however, acted on their own accord, ever-reacting to the changing light and quietly keeping their keystone relation to the activities and events they bore witness to.

We were now at about the tenth liter of tea and, not unexpectantly, my head began to swim. Either too full or too empty, words forgot to navigate the music and reach my ears. My eyes wandered. Hills of shoulders rolled before me and F(DON’T) - semi-framed by the kitchen door and the visitors perched beneath - caught my eye. The doorframe reframed the painting, cutting the canvas into a new composition. Pausing the conversation my head had swum away from, I remarked my observation. My distraction did not offend. We were there for them after all, and rather than frizzle into a disconnect, the music seeped into the silences, and the paintings absorbed loose words, binding them back to reconnect the strands of conversation.

An hour later, the space was empty, cups cleaned and furniture reinstalled to David’s composition. And while the event’s occurrence was now almost unperceivable – its physical residues reduced to footprints on the stairs –its juxtaposition with the now-quiet living room insured it’s presence remained imbued. Talking one more time of David’s paintings, we noted how not only were the canvases almost completely empty, but the gestures their surfaces hosted were too. Not only ignoring traditional compositions, materials or ideas, the very speed present within the strokes again acted as an empty field. Spatially and temporally void, their surfaces retaliated against any reading of discernable intent from the artist – actively encouraging us to look beyond the frame instead. Rather than extracting definitions through encounters with their surface, we found it was the space between the paintings that offered a meeting point between artist, object and spectator. Released from contemplation within the frame, our attention was free to explore. Rather than being bound to deducing artistic intention, through Bild Des Tages we found space to play. We could view a book and read a painting; quote a brushstroke and taste a sound.



Table talk in a home show
Table talk in a home show was a conversation held around the table at Plǝt- - with Anik Fournier, Alina Lupu, Martine Neddam and a fluctuating number of walk-in participants - on Saturday 16th Dec. 2017. Meandering between observations of the exhibition Bild Des Tages, prepared questions and everything in-between, the talk spanned across a rainy Amsterdam afternoon, fuelled by tea, coffee and an impromptu bitterball-break created by Alina Lupu’s performative intervention. The conversation aimed to lay everything on the table – bringing a variety of perspectives into a singular talk in order to discuss the works of David Ostrowski, Michail Pirgelis and Gerda Scheepers in more depth. In doing so we hoped to widen our perspectives of these art works and their specific constellation within this exhibition; and through this aimed to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary painting and perhaps even contemporary art at large.

The scope of the conversation went from the specific - observations of individual works where intention, history and back stories manifest through visual signifiers; to the general – if a distinction could be made between a contemporary artist and a painter, for example. And everything to the side and in-between. The navigation of these topics followed the natural structure of a conversation: meandering, sporadic, shaped by chance associations, trigger-words and expansion on details that slide in through personal anecdotes. Arms of conversation brought us far out of the exhibition frame and inertia invited the gravity of the exhibition to pull us back to the core of our intended talk. The conversation did not conclude in any neat and tidy knots – at the very best it ended in a pleasant tangle, though in truth I think the afternoon rather ended in a fray: after coming together for some hours in a cord of concentration, a suggestion to swap places round the table uprooted the conversation so thoroughly that we never settled back down to continue our communally constructed narrative. From there the room became split into clusters of conversations, each following their own natural course and the event dissipating accordingly.

Starting off with direct empirical observations, grounded and exploratory comments were made. By talking about what was observable in the room, postulations were immediately re-searchable by the group as a whole. Individual observations about specific connections – the room’s radiator in relation to Michail’s abstracted planes; David’s paintings in relation to Michail’s real-life abstractions; Gerda’s representations reflecting David’s forms; and the architecture in relation to Gerda’s painted grids– formulated an overall postulation about the circular nature of these connections: a [closed] circuit of ABSTRACT PAINTING > ABSTRACTED REAL-LIFE > REAL-LIFE > REAL-LIFE PAINTED >(and back to) ABSTRACT PAINTING etc. The hypothesis was immediately re-examinable, and then used as a starting block for other thoughts.

The intention was never to determine if the exhibition was good or bad, which perhaps gave a freedom to verbalize it as a success in a colloquial, parenthesis-type manner. The closed-circuit relationship between the works and space stimulated immediate observations and secondary reflections. The installation as a whole was generally agreed upon as having a pleasing informal precision - a statement that was flitted over unanimously. However, had our intention been to examine this head-on, I feel we might have taken it too seriously to celebrate something as light as aesthetic pleasure.

Concentration instead appeared to be on the greater frame - the exhibition as a whole in relation to other exhibitions. It was commented that Plǝt- took to a very traditional form – one through which the private origins of (painting) exhibitions are refound. This came through a comparison to 17th and 18th century presentations of art – when art was made for, and displayed in, either royal or wealthy homes and the church. It was noted how paintings at that time were made by commission as portraits of important individuals and property– and how Plǝt-‘s future exhibitions might even further elude to this tradition due to the promise of more site-specificity. The specificity and intimacy of these origins led to Teyler’s museum and Japanese Scrolls. Teyler’s museum, the first museum of the Netherlands, was not only intimate in being the private collection of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, but also in its original form of exhibiting – in which Teyler himself would make a selection of drawings, physically passing them around to the invited audience. This direct handling of delicate drawings almost makes Plǝt-‘s idea of intimacy feel tame. However, before this thread of thought could take further hold, it was noted that in the exhibition we were sitting within consisted of 8 pre-existing works, dating from 2003 till 2017, and therefore while the movements of Plǝt- lined up to these ideas, Bild Des Tages itself was further removed.

Confirming the active role of David and Michail in the exhibition’s installation – curatorially, physically and photographically – the possibility of the installation as a work in itself was proposed. If an abstract painter makes installations that he meticulously directs and photographs – is he then an abstract painter in the specificity of his made-objects, but tending towards the more generic term ‘artist’ through the spatial images he creates through his extended actions? The topic bounced around the room, eventually being set aside as too black-and-white a discussion for a question with such a nuanced nature. What the line of thought was really asking was, ‘where is the edge of the ‘art work’ located’?

Plǝt-‘s status as both a living room and an exhibition space turns this into an intriguing question: depending on where one places themselves on the discussion’s spectrum, the project easily slips between ‘living amongst the work’ and ‘living in the work’. The closer one places their perspective towards the latter, the more the action of adding, moving and touching things within the room becomes a direct ‘detournément’ of the image created by the artist. However as a physical and temporal space that oscillates between a living room and an exhibition space, Plǝt- is inherently malleable, with the composition of the room changing according to its use. Photographs that present Plǝt- online, however, were observed as remaining fairly static and the room is cleaned to a state of near-emptiness when an audience is apprehended. So perhaps this becomes an indicator of where lines of ‘cohabitation’ lie.

The invitation extended to artists to exhibit at Plat outlines that the space must still function as a living room, but that the tenant is open to as many changes as deemed necessary for the installation of the work. This first manifestation of the approach brought into focus the potential violence of emptiness found in exhibition spaces – and how arranging a space prioritizing aesthetics is vastly different to arranging a space prioritizing functionality. A filing cabinet, for example, has a functional position in a living room for someone who lives there. But compositionally, a big filing cabinet might be an aesthetical obstacle - disposable in the eyes of an artist installing their work. Only through physically installing Bild Des Tages, did a deeper awareness arise of what it means to try let these two different uses of space coexist in one physical room. By making an installation that included the furniture, the bed in the living room became sculpturally activated. By installing F(DON’T) in front of the cupboard door, a new composition using the painting and the space was made. From the perspective of Plǝt-, the success of the exhibitions lies in these negotiations between the artist’s vision and the day-to-day functionality of the living room – finding equilibrium between the two. Letting one dominate over the other, in either direction, would be its demise.

The conversation referred to Chambres d’amis (1986), an exhibition curated by Jan Hoet, as a bigger scale example of where such negotiations became manifest. A much larger affair (installations made in 58 private houses across Ghent, Belgium), Chambres d’amis also ran into greater negotiations. While the tenant at Plǝt- negotiates living around a blocked cupboard door, a household in Ghent had to negotiate around a collapsing floor, caused by the installation of a solid stone table by Mario Merz. Which is perhaps where other boundaries and conditions of Plǝt- can be found. As an independently run project, Plǝt- cannot afford such a risk, which perhaps brings the topic of risks or conservatism into a different light. The scope of gestures in art are bound by earthly limitations after all, and sometimes that limitation is found to be money. This briefly brought mention of a perk for certain art collectors, who lent their houses to Chambre’s d’amis for a promised a discount on the work – or maybe for one household, a freely renovated floor? However, unlike the empirical observations made earlier in the talk, these postulations could not be immediately researched, and the conversation meandered out into other territories: such as Ivanka Trump’s living room, for example.

A collage of worded images, presented by Alina Lupu, brought several spaces into one plane. Plǝt-, Ivanka Trump, Seth Price in a fictional restaurant contemplating spaghetti. An exhibition of images within the space of a talk hosted within a space exhibiting paintings. It was noted that while Trump and Plǝt- were bound together by Ostrowski, what they also had in common was social media. That they both shared their living rooms on Instagram. That despite existing world’s apart, we could now find at least 2 connecting points between them – a comparison a project space in the suburbs of Amsterdam had never imagined they would find themselves considering. But then who would have imagined that established artists would agree to exhibit in an unestablished space for its inaugural exhibition? And who would have imagined that 8 autonomously made art works could work together so succinctly – not only between themselves, but also with a living space still semi-decorated by the former tenant? For this constellation, I guess no one did. Perhaps the questions were either too obvious or too impossible or too arbitrary to entertain. But for Plǝt- they seemed questions worth spending time on. And on Saturday December 18th, 2017, it seemed a living room full of other minds did too. Or perhaps they just came for the snacks. One can never know. Whatever the case, Table talk in a home show concluded as a composition of empty coffee mugs, chocolate wrappers and a lot of food for thought. And Bild Des Tages seen and contemplated in a new light.

Écluse and Panorama
A trivial desire for cheese leads me out of my chair; and the grated door to the kitchen – closed to reflect the grid in Gerda’s paintings – leads me away from the kitchen and up close to inspect the surface of Michail’s Écluse instead. I figure I’ll follow this unexpected room-current and feed my eyes rather than my growling taste buds.

I lean in to the piece of airplane hanging off my wall, leveling my eyes to the panel’s surface for a closer inspection. I observe horizontal rain drips tattooing the fossilized dirt attached to its enamel skin – and - noting the size of the circular rivets puncturing its surface in grid-like fashion - I dash back to the table for a quick hole-punching experiment. To my utmost amazement, the 3-minute research concludes in the discovery that these circular airplane rivets ARE in fact the exact same size as regular office, hole-punch holes. How’s that for standardization across all frontiers?

I’m reminded of a curious detail I learnt last night about the coded numbers stamped into these rivets – most clearly seen in the polished Panorama, hanging behind the tulips. I swoop across the room to inspect the small, round constellations of code [11 V5 T NL] embossed into each hole-punched circle in the reflective surface of the ‘painting’. Turns out these codes connect each drilled rivet to its registered executor – ensuring that in the case of a crash, the ‘right’ person can be held responsible for any crash-causing malfunctions.

Funny how Michail wanted to be an archaeologist and ended up making the very shallowest archaeological dig underneath the surface of airplane paint: revealing the politics of the airline industry. The artist’s archeological tool is not the spade, but the tool one uses to remove paint, and buffer metal, into shiny and reflective surfaces. I’m suddenly projected back into a memory of my high school metalwork class; addicted to the action of polishing copper to the point of wearing the buffer thin. And yet my juvenile sculpture still wasn’t as shiny as this piece Panorama, made by Michail.

Volenteer, 2014
It was only when switching from the dim, yellow living-room lights to the harsh, white, TL tube lights that my neighbor Julian exclaimed ‘wow!’ at Michail’s Volenteer, as its surface changed from a deep black to a radiating blue.

Now the lights are back off and the aerodynamic curve, an open C, reflects a scuffmark in the lower right corner. The bend in the plate bends light and shadow along with it – creating an oozy black divide through the centre of the work. It is almost a dessert. Rich and liquidy. Treacley. Or is this just because I indulged in a chocolate snack just now – my chocolate fingers still smudging the very page I am writing on?

The reflections of the bedspread deepen the colours in the lower third, grounding its impressed composition as one might find in a painted landscape. Faces and figures appear. Planes of dark blue, ever deep and serene, celestial - all the words in relation to the sky. Yes, I am feeling sentimental: who knew the surface of a plane could look so deep? Who knew industrial, evenly distributed, monochromatic paint could hold so many hues purely through its interaction with light and space? Do airplanes do this in the sky also? Reflecting pieces of clouds, fading into moments of invisibility that keep us from seeing the stream of traffic up they make up there? Last time I flew there was an air-traffic jam – each plane’s schedule hovering across the hour, patiently waiting for their spot in the sky.

The Opening
We talked a lot about framing last night - the choice of framing being the action of the artist rather than the painterly hand (Michail); and with David it was seen as a framing of action, the spray paint lines becoming residues of character-imbued actions of what was unanimously described as ‘bad-ass’. But with all this talk about the frame (the traditional edge), it was concluded that it was Untitled II, Gerda’s painting above the mantel piece, that had inadvertently become the heart to the entire exhibition.

Magically working with everything - complimenting even the complimentary snacks; reflecting the vertical lines of the chair, mirroring the gridded architecture of the doors - we could not, it seems, put anything next to Gerda’s painting that felt out of place. And while now I’m back in my writing spot - facing books and David’s protruding collage - yesterday at the opening all I could see was this calmly sketched painting. Even with my attention turned, my shoulder would pull backwards inviting her into the corner of my eye. Each conversation becoming a triangle.

While the content in the frame rather reflects a working space - with shelves of plants and sculptures, desks of pens and brushes and papers – it’s the one work that feels as though it makes this room home. I think I’m a little bit in love. Or whatever it is that happens before - that feeling when you are incredibly attracted and touched by someone you know so shortly it can only rationally be connected to something a little less deep. But lets not be rational.