the Curve at POSITIONS berlin 2021


“By making collages, I found the freedom and confidence to paint.” (J.P.)

Jannis Paetzold’s (* 1986) second exhibition in the Curve, «Painting in a different language» explores various artistic disciplines within the medium of collage.

Blurring the boundaries between sculpting and collaging, Jannis swaps chisel for scissors and stone for paper, and carves out sculptures from found imagery. Whilst the works remain two dimensional, their title – «Sculptures» – suggests otherwise and therefore opens up room for interpretation.

Throughout Paetzold’s artistic practice he plays with different materials and application techniques in order to deceive our perception and question our inherited ways of seeing. In another series exhibited in the Curve Jannis recreates the sweep of a brushstroke with meticulously cut out pieces of paper.

These “Brushstrokes” turn his collage works into what appears to be abstract paintings. His latest series «Floating abstracts» consists of faded landscape images that are partly covered with elevated paper elements in contrasting colours. These works mark the artist’s next step from the earlier flat paper collages towards three dimensional objects.


“I have always drawn and painted and there was always the notion that I should excel in it. Even though I myself, not being completely mediocre, couldn’t find the confidence let alone a voice. During my studies I made first attempts cutting out drawn shapes and shapes that I would later draw on, cut tape and work with foil. But it wasn’t up until 2016 – one year prior to my first solo show at the Curve – that I started creating analog collages. The 2017 show featured two works with abstract shapes of color which were set into a landscape and that I called „Sculptures“. I continued borrowing from other artistic disciplines and found something in the scope of possibility that this medium gave to me – it let me penetrate into painting and sculpting while still doing something else. In simple terms I could say, that all I do is apply color on a surface, but the more honest answer would be: if I had found in painting what I have found in collage as a medium – I would paint.“

Photo credit: Annemie Martin