Galerie Droste is wrapping up this gloomy year with a vibrant, colorful, and sensory overwhelming exhibition that comprises new works by the two Los Angeles based artists, Asad Faulwell and Andrew Schoultz, now on view at their space in Wuppertal, Germany. Borrowing the aviation term used when planes cannot land and have to circle over the airport, Holding Pattern becomes a symbolic metaphor for the complex and intertangled socio-political circumstances we've been experiencing globally, or perhaps an antidote for such emotive experiences.

Schoultz has been featured numerous times in our magazine and we are always excited about how he will surprise us with his meticulous, line-based, psychedelic visuals. Embellishing his alphabet of recurring imagery, the artist keeps evolving, mixing abstract assemblages with new elements. Strong figurative images like  trees, snakes, or tigers developing from strictly abstract geo shapes in an indefinable technique that is impossible to mistake for anyone else. Whether looking at the application of warm colors, the circle or square-based compositions, or again, the intricate line work or the favorite cast of characters, the heavily layered images appear like archaeological excavations, in which new and old knowledge is delivered layer by layer.

The reminiscent, hypnotic mythological  creations of Asad Faulwell are mixed-media treasures. His oeuvres are technically almost incomparable, as the Iranian-American artist insists on incorporating the tradition of Persian craftsmanship, yet  uses intricate techniques, vibrant colors, and repetitive constructs in harmonious works. Such a handiwork-based approach results in richly textured, three-dimensional pieces built with spun threads, beads, needles, and sequins atop painted images. Inspired by the Pattern and Decoration Movements of the 1970s the works blur the thin lines between art, design, and craftsmanship. Attracting attention with alluring decoration,  the artist captivates with his skill for detail, as with the black and white portraits of female fighters from the Algerian underground struggling against the colonial French occupation in the 1950s.

Both artists beguile with beauty as they address the cultural and political problems that have recurred through history, both reminding us of the structural distributions of power and the resulting social imbalances that aren’t so pretty. — Sasha Bogojev