Jana Schröder. D.A.M. at Alfonso Artiaco gallery

Jana Schröder. D.A.M. at Alfonso Artiaco gallery

A set of lines like a tactical scheme. Rigour and technique reveal originality and fantasy. Ordinary chaos plays with colour, chaotic order challenges it in brushstrokes. Aesthetics of the scribble, curls and curvatures dribble across the white surface of a canvas, marking the indelible, space and time, memories and emotions.

Jana Schröder. “D.A.M”, exhibition view at Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli, May 2024, ph. Grafiluce, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco gallery

In contemporary painting, gestures are sometimes synonymous with permanence. Letting oneself be transported by sensations, by memories reworked in the mind with one’s own feeling, passages and exchanges between oneself and the other, all assisted by the expressive potential of colour is for Jana Schröder – German painter born in 1983 – spontaneity, an elective dialogue without answers, only questions that seek something else. A former student of the renowned Albert Oehlen at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, with a dense network of sinuous lines she creates layers and layers of colour with an apparently complex interpretation. The pictorial abstractionism that follows is reminiscent of a tendency to control chaos: keeping thoughts in order is the artist’s crossed limit. The process that Schröder employs in creation is an integral part of the work. The viscerality of her mental scheme changes into rhythmic and expressive freedom. Repetition and seriality become a beneficial and elusive outlet. The viewer who stands in front of her works becomes aware that painting is limitless, it is interpretative as much as it is denial of meaning. She can recreate a sense of it or let the chromatic scribbles macerate in the time to come: the artist grants the choice, the communicative density of her works can exasperate as much as stretch typical or atypical readings in contemporary art. And so the skein of signs reveals a meaning in Jana Schröder’s works: art is contemporary when it asks questions. Emotions and memories are abstraction of what?

Jana Schröder. “L2”, acrylic on canvas, 240 x 200 cm, 2024 / “M3”, acrylic on canvas, 180 x 150 cm, 2024, ph. Grafiluce, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco gallery

The purity of the German painter’s gestures, as in all the series she has created, focus on a meaning, which is intellectual as much as experiential. For her first solo exhibition at Alfonso Artiaco gallery in Naples, the artist is exhibiting a series of medium and large sized paintings on canvas, with an equal number of drawings, centred on a theme very dear to popular Neapolitan culture: Diego Armando Maradona. The anagram of the name D.A.M. is the title chosen for the exhibition. The motivations for such a theme unfold in Jana’s trial not only as a tribute, but as the redundancy of a spirit that goes beyond football. It is belonging, revenge, attachment to a mistreated culture, the passion and warmth of the people towards a man adopted in nationality but raised in spirit.

Jana Schröder, “M2”, acrylic on canvas, 180 x 150 cm, 2024, ph. Grafiluce, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco gallery

The typical blue colours that differentiate this ‘faith’ are echoed in the three largest works hanging in the gallery rooms. Alternating with them, there are works in different colours – magenta, violet, green, orange – which, although they take up the same dense gestural and sign weave, emphasise a diversification of meaning. The arrangement of these works does not follow a logical or academic rigour, in fact they play the allusive place of players in a football team – the canvases are in fact eleven – who, in their established formation, move in patterns and free to focus on the same goal. Moreover, this sporting reference is best represented by the arrangement of eleven paintings on paper in the largest room with the formation referred to in the jargon as the ‘Christmas tree’. The white underneath the abstract colour thus spreads through the gallery to emanate a sense of memory dragged through time as the Neapolitans themselves did with their El Pibe de Oro.

Jana Schröder. “D.A.M”, exhibition view at Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli, May 2024, ph. Grafiluce, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco gallery

One’s gaze rests on Jana Schröder’s works with the same attention that a football fan follows his/her favourite team. She extols its exploits and criticises its meaning. She reflects on the confusion of a game that has established rules, but that sometimes in the chaotic paraphernalia can offer unique and probably unrepeatable emotions.


Jana Schröder. D.A.M.
03/05 – 22/06/2024
Alfonso Artiaco
Piazzetta Nilo 7, Napoli


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.