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Displaced or incongruous materials are a defining part of Georg Herold’s practice; his caviar paintings are the ultimate exemplar of this, speaking to the informal abstraction of his earlier works.
‘Untitled’ sees copious amounts of caviar smeared across a dark red canvas highly reminiscent of blood. The monumental size of the work tempts the viewer to look more closely at the eddying swirls of acrylic paint beneath the caviar; the latter is mixed in to create a mottled effect on the surface of the canvas which recalls blood cells, or some kind of moving, animate mass.
Herold’s use of caviar on such a large scale plays with notions of the substance as perishable, a conspicuous symbol of consumption, yet luxurious and expensive. By spreading it across the expanse of the canvas he makes the audience aware of its transience, which extends to the mutability of the artwork itself. The explicitly abstract nature of the work eludes meaning deliberately; Herold rejects prescribed meanings and external references in favour of the potential for a multiplicity of interpretations, which he sees as the ideal condition for art.