Incubator 22 is proud to present Lust For Life, Marius Steiger’s first solo show in London and the final exhibition of our autumn programme. Drawing on the age-old legacy of still life painting, Steiger’s work explores questions of authenticity, consumption and our increasingly fraught relationship with the natural world, creating works that are both alluring and unsettling in their polished, synthetic rendering of organic matter.
One can view Steiger’s work as a contemporary subversion of Vanitas paintings. While this historical genre of still life strived to remind the viewer of the transience of living through the depiction of decaying matter, Steiger’s still lifes provide a sense of eternal endurance through the synthetic nature of virtual worlds.
Although Steiger’s subject grapples with the tension between physical and digital realms, his practice constantly alternates between them. The artist begins his process from 3D models, since, as he states,“in a digital world there are no physical rules.” He then translates these images into painting and sculpture through the careful, painstaking layering of paint and polish. The result is the rendering of delicate, hand-made forms that look immune from imperfection, yet feel distinctly material in their surface and objecthood.
In some of his most recent work, Steiger challenges the categorical boundary between painting and object. Here, paintings are no longer contained within the confines of a conventional canvas but rather become a seamless part of their context–– bringing their uncanny artificiality even closer to our world.
Marius Steiger (b. 1999, Bern) is a London-based Swiss artist, currently studying MA Painting at the Royal College of Art. Steiger has previously exhibited work at Kunsthaus Langenthal (2022), La Placette, Lausanne (2022), Musée des Arts, Moutier (2022) and Blue Velvet Projects, Zurich (2021).
co-curated by Angelica Jopling and Clara Galperin