Abstractions of Light
From the delicate and sublime paintings of Michael Biberstein, to the reflecting color works by Adrian Schiess, to the translucent minimalist wall objects of Herbert Hamak, the hard edge-minimal and expressive paintings and drawings by John Armleder and the gold leaf plated opulent, but puristic wall works by Christian Eckart, “Abstractions of light” shows different variations and developments in the field of painting. Key aspect is the manifold interaction between light and color, from a rather hermetic to a more open, even translucent work concept. Traditional painting strategies have been reshaped and developed, questioning notions of reality, perception and materiality.
Since the 1970s, Michael Biberstein has concentrated on the notion of Landscape in Painting, connected to its historic dimension. His multiple landscapes are also, in the words of the artist, “…landscapes of multiple fields offered to the medium of painting” which the artist would not cease to explore, be it through his different mediums (oil, acrylic, pastel, ink, crayon, watercolor) or through his questions of scale that he tested in its broadest spectrum.
For Adrian Schiess, a picture is successful when the painter accomplishes both nature and a representation of nature. Within his oeuvre, the paintings are variations of what his other works -, the photographs enlarged beyond recognition - have always dealt with: the emergence of the real. Within contemporary art, they show a commitment to abstraction, which, according to Adrian Schiess, is the only way to show that which is not subject to any determination extrinsic to itself.
John Armleder thrives on contradictions and has always been interested in letting what he has called “the great whatever” have full rein. He also claims that his paintings are “inevitable.” If this is a paradox, it is one he cultivates by offsetting paintings made by spilling color down tall canvases as well as those with hard-edge patterning. Common to both idioms is repetition. The incisive, geometric order contrasts the less controlled process of the other.
The works by German painter Herbert Hamak do not fit into one of the traditional categories of art, like painting or sculpture, but cover both at the same time. Hamak’s work concentrates on the purity of colour as it is intensified by the intentional use of resin-filtered light that is the essence of his body of work.
Eckart’s paintings have articulated a dialogue with sculpture since he came to prominence in New York in the 1980s. “I consider my work to be a kind of philosophy of art articulated through the creation and manufacture of objects that embody particular sets of concerns.”For Eckart, “beauty” may be a necessary function in gaining access to a deeper property: the sublime, or what he often refers to as a “meta-sublime.” His oeuvre’s considerable force and simultaneous simplicity is being created by its strong, but pure presence.