untitled (paperwork) , 2013
graphite and spraypaint on paper , 51cm x 120cm
Philip Emde presents a series of untitled works using graphite and spray paint on paper. Upon close
inspection, the pieces’ processes of creation become visible to the viewer in the form of labor- and
force-intensive strokes applied over the entire paper surface. Each work is the product of a series
of unnecessary acts, repeated ad infinitum until the making of another one is physically impossible.
These thousands of marks imply an inconceivably long period of time spent on their creation, but
the artist’s dedication to this period is what gives the work its final immediacy for the viewer. The
repetitive markmaking actions give way to broader abstract structures that can be clearly viewed
from afar. The works are physical manifestations of melancholy emotions, visually dark yet also
connotative of the productive qualities of such feelings. On their reverse sides, vivid color shadows
are produced by the drawings’ backings, displaying the more optimistic sensations stimulated by
introspection and melancholy contemplation.