PUBLICATION: Jan Zöller, Ritual Believer, 2023
In his paintings, sculptures and installations, Jan Zöller (born in 1992 in Haslach, who lives and works in Karlsruhe) deals with the dichotomy between economic production and the spiritual, magical side of art. The artist’s book Ritual Believer provides an overview of a group of works called “Charcoal Paintings”, created between 2019 and 2023. In these paintings, charcoal is used to paint directly onto the unprimed canvas, which makes it impossible to touch up “mistakes”. Moreover, they largely dispense with colours and are comparatively reduced in analogy to Zöller’s otherwise very colour-intensive paintings. In addition to the motifs of birds and running legs typical of his work, writing and text are a crucial element of the “Charcoal Paintings”. This also includes the evidence that the titles of the artworks play a central role and can almost be marked as an independent part.
For the text in the book, the artist sent the titles of the works shown to his brother (Jonas Zöller), who wrote a narrative from them. In the back section, there is additional scanned archive material. Notebooks and zines by Zöller between the years 2015 – 2017 provide fascinating references to his image and motif finding.
Jan Zöller studied at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe with Marijke van Warmerdam and Leni Hoffmann from 2012 to 2017 and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris with Jean-Marc Bustamante in 2016. In 2018 he received the Federal Prize for Art Students from the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, and in 2021 the working scholarship of the Stiftung Kunstfonds.
Author: Alexander Booth, Jonas Zöller, Pilar Soler Montes
Editor: DCV Books
Courtesy of Galería Ehrhardt Flórez, Meyer Rigger, Robert Grunenberg