Spotlight: In a New Berlin Exhibition, Artist Dylan Solomon Kraus Attempts to Turn Hypnosis On Its Head in New Paintings

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About the Artist: Multidisciplinary American artist Dylan Solomon Kraus (b. 1987) is best known for his otherworldly and atmospheric paintings that have an almost cinematic quality. Originally from Ohio, and currently based in New York City, Kraus received his BFA from the Cooper Union in 2015, and has to date participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions both in the city and abroad. Inspired by childhood experiences camping and hiking, the natural environment, and art history—to name just a few—Kraus’s unique visual language employs symbolism, landscape-inspired vignettes, and often visible brushwork. Together, these elements result in decidedly otherworldly compositions that offer an alternate way of seeing reality, one that brings the presence of the cosmos down to human scale and offer a sense of the magical and mystical in the everyday.

What You Need to Know: Currently on view, Peres Projects is presenting Kraus’s solo exhibition “ExHypnosis,” the artist’s first solo show in Berlin, and third solo show with the gallery; in 2022, Peres Projects, Seoul, hosted “the inevitability of alignment,” and Peres Projects, Milan, showed “Holy Unrest.” The present exhibition is comprised of a series of oil on linen paintings that delve into ideas around agency, awareness, and the psyche. Using the concept of hypnosis—a sleep-like trance produced by another person—as a starting point, “ExHypnosis” considers its opposite, a degree of wakefulness and awareness that allows for greater understanding and consciousness. Repeated motifs, varying degrees of representation and abstraction, and decisive color palettes construct an artistic otherworld of Kraus’s creation, offering new ways of seeing.

Why We Like It: Using the inverse of hypnosis proves a potent source of inspiration for Kraus, leading to a deep exploration of perception, perspective, and renewed seeing. Kraus’s achievement is most apparent in his rendering of the familiar in new and unconventional manners. In works such as (2023), the color palette used suggests heightened vision, a night scene where no clarity or detail is lost. Similarly, in (2023), the same night vision is offered, but within an ethereal landscape that is both rooted in reality, yet offers a sense of the mythical. Within the show, Kraus’s ongoing explorations into symbolism and formal elements are made visible through repeated motifs across works. Two works titled (both 2023) present an opened box with a cloud of colors and patterns emanating. Each work has a distinct color palette—one in blues and greens and the other in shades of red, plum, and violet—which, when juxtaposed, offer insight into the effect and use of color as well as their variable emotive effects. On the whole, visitors to the show have the opportunity to explore Kraus’s artistic, imaginative worlds, and trace the evolution of his compositional motifs.

See featured works from the exhibition below.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, Exhypnosis (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, Taernacle (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, Sparrow (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, Pandora's Box (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, Times of Day (ExHypnosis) (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Kraus, (ExHypnosis) (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Krau, Times of Day (For Blinky) (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Dylan Solomon Krau, (For Blinky) (2023). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

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