At nighttime, the illustrator Ingo Abeska sorts through his loot: international newspapers and magazines serve as an inspiration and a medium. He skims the individual pages; some things seem relevant and catch his interest, while others he ignores. Ultimately, he intuitively selects a motif, a report, or a miniature that elicits a rather brief, involuntary response. Like in an atlas, Abeska collects drawings to create a personal cartograph that not only facilitates his approach to interpreting the world of news and current developments, but also opens up a view of the beyond.
For his subjective investigations into world affairs, Ingo Abeska uses notebooks made of packing paper most of the time. His own magazine series are formed by filling the pages with drawings, adding lines of text, or creating collages through the addition of image details. In his portraits, Abeska tries to get into the heads and ideas of the people shown—irrespective of their representative positions. Personalities from politics and film appear, as do nameless unknowns, thus giving rise to narratively densified renderings that condense communication, emotion, and psyche. The individual pages are each marked with the date on which they were “filled.” Some of the reports that Abeska uses for his drawings hark back to earlier times, while others clearly reference current news events. Instead of pencils he frequently uses a black crayon, though occasionally he will resort to color. Rather than being an illustrator in a classic sense, Ingo Abeska is much more of a creator of individual scenes that originate with world events evoked by media coverage.
At the Künstlerhaus, Ingo Abeska is showing both his recently completed notebooks and also those created in past years, featuring drawings and collages. What is more, he departed from the notebook format for this exhibition. However, his larger drawings presented on the walls are based on the same source as his notebook works: originating from daily newspapers and magazines that the artist regularly leafs through.
Ingo Abeska (*1953 in Graz, lives in Graz) spent years playing the guitar and piano before deciding, in the 1990s, to take up drawing. At first he worked with loose sheets, but starting in the year 2000 he began filling notebooks. Since 2005 he has collaborated regularly with the artist E.d Gfrerer.