Christof Mascher’s show at The Happy Lion Gallery in Los Angeles features a whimsically insidious array of paintings and drawings. Titled ‘Fake Empire,’ the exhibition is the artist’s first U.S. solo show. Mascher’s work eerily merges the expressionistic mark-making with illustrative, though far from literal, imagery and his paintings call to mind scenes from dark fantasy novels. While exhibition titles often seem removed from the work included, Mascher certainly seems to be masterminding a ‘Fake Empire’ in which murky expanses of water connect icy fortresses.
Mascher, a German artist who lives and works in Braunschweig, attended the Braunschweig University of Art and the University for Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover. His recent exhibition at Galerie Michael Janssen in Cologne, titled ‘The Ghost Yard,’ featured paintings on wood that were as dark and fantastic as the work at Happy Lion. However, the paintings and drawings currently on view in Los Angeles have significantly more perspectival depth to them, making it seem as though Mascher has created his own dimensional world. Mascher, who is new to the international art world, has also shown at Kunstverein Hannover and Figge Von Rosen Galerie, where he participated in 2006 show ‘Cropped: Young Artists from European Academies.’ ‘Fake Empire’ runs through March 1st.