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Book cover of Elias Wessel, Aesthetics of Conflict, featuring a colourful abstract artwork. Published by Verlag Kettler.

Elias Wessel

Aesthetics of Conflict

By (author) Elias Wessel


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  • First comprehensive monograph on the artist’s oeuvre
  • Showcases works from the years 2017–2021
  • Art, artistic photography, digitalisation and its impact on art and society
Full Description

In an age of fast-changing technologies, offering numerous ways of generating images, Elias Wessel challenges the conventional definition of a painting: he creates his “paintings” without resorting to traditional painting techniques and eschews classical genres. The artist’s abstract paintings – which in many ways show connections to painterly practices – are in fact made up of photographs and digital material.

Wessel, for example, takes photos of smartphone displays to produce monumental abstract compositions from the fingerprints left behind on them. He also documents his scrolling behaviour on social media platforms by using long-time exposure to superimpose accessed profiles and their contents: the result is visual and decontextualised structures. His other works present painterly-looking details of damaged displays: where else in the digital world can we experience such a close relationship with the canvas?

Above all, the quality of Elias Wessel’s working method lies in the way he links the fundamental discourses in the history of photography with the latest technology and current social debates. In so doing, he skilfully observes and questions the social consequences and instruments of digitalisation.

Text in English and German.

Verlag Kettler
19th Sep 2023
World excluding Germany, Austria, Switzerland
279 mm x 216 mm
224 Pages
159 color
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