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Jana Euler, Gossip rain out in the fields, 201
Courtesy the artist; and Galerie Neu, Berlin

Jana Euler’s exhibition
at Galerie Neu, Berlin

May 22 2013
4:56 PM

Last year, the counterintuitive results of a study were published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology under the title “The Virtues of Gossip.” The article touted the ability of gossip to reinforce social norms as well as to designate deviants within a social sphere. The lines between norms and outliers are recurring themes in the paintings of Jana Euler, whose current exhibit at Galerie Neu in Berlin is titled “Dirty Gossip Rain” or “From private to public painting and the streetlight on the way.” The dual titles might point to the German-born painter’s way of working—technically and thematically—with superimposition or, if you like, her studied, manneristic, almost Outsider-art equivocation among multiple realities. A brief index of the imagery in Euler’s gratifyingly bizarre paintings: two hazy, airbrushed-looking tigers fiercely nuzzling in a field, overlain with a perspectival study of a room; a series of three eyes, the final one looking like it’s swallowed a car’s rear-view mirror; a man in a skin cap hopelessly doing laps in his bathtub. Their motifs are clear to us from the history of the unconscious—“eyes,” “rooms,” paranoid perspectives. But here, Euler presents a view that—like a Surrealistic Mobius strip—remains outside and inside at once. Like all gossip, the works would be fatally comic if they weren’t somehow also so blissfully sad. (Pablo Larios)

Jana Euler’s exhibition at Galerie Neu will run through June 1.