I discovered that two galleries in Bern, Switzerland had this month an exhibition called ‘About Painting‘: Galerie Kornfeld and Galerie Bischoff & Partner (see references). I thought that this would be great opportunity to open up my mind on painting and to see what could be explored as a painting (compared to a drawing). I hoped to discover new perspectives for my future work.
In a handout of the gallery I could read a profane but simple definition of painting:
‘applying wet paint with a brush, palette knife or any other tool on a painting surface‘
First I went to the Galerie Cornfield, and felt a bit at unease, as the gallery is more know as an auction house with sales frequently into milllions of swiss franc. The good part was that they offered auction catalogues for free with full of art works from last centuries till contemporary art that I could use for visual reference and clipping.
Both galleries present mostly swiss contemporary artist, many of them from my region Bern. I was mostly interested in the following contemporary artist:
- Pascal Danz (1961 – 2015)
=> for his luminous painting with abstract and blurred marks
=> representation of high key, luminous scenes with abstract markings and blurred edges. Some edges even in different color.
- Alois Lichtsteiner (b. 1950)
Available at: http://www.aloislichtsteiner.com/en/Home [Accessed: 20 February 2016]
=> his simplified abstract pictorial images that trigger perception of mountains or birch bark
=> Alois Lichtsteiner tackles the questions of what is representation, what is perception, and what is triggered as an illusion in the viewers’ mind. By that he refers to the phenomenological approach of Merleau-Ponty. Lichtsteiner point of view that seeing and perception can not be achieved – as it pure illusion. For him it is a liminal experience between representation and the presentation of a pictorial image that triggers perceptions.
- Kotscha Reist (b. 1963)
Available at: http://kotschareist.ch [Accessed: 20 February 2016]
=> for his super implied b/w painting (like notan) of close up views
=> As simplified image in three tonal values. Nevertheless making the form perception very convincing. Something I really want to learn.
- Elsbeth Böniger (b. 1945)
=> for her non- traditional approach to painting with enamel, bitumen on honeycomb cardboard
- Rolf Iseli (b. 1934)
=> for his work with fusion material (incl earth and wire) with a strong connection to site and environment
I researched this in the context of my personal project from ‘Drawing 1’ (Schaffeld, 20 Feb 2016) => click here
- Blurred marks like out-of-focus helps to convey a believable luminous scene from a more distant viewpoint (backlight effect) [Pascal Danz, Silvia Gertsch]
- An overall high key painting needs some dark tonal values for contrast and more appealing picture.
- Bold applied paint blots in a color gradation can trigger the perception of stones [Alois Lichtsteiner]. A sublime image is at it strongest with simplified focus and rather uniform background. Is this pure illusion?
- Simplicity in painting alongside abstract markings leaves space for questions.
- I like the work in series (like the birch bark paintings of Alois Lichtsteiner) as they convey a sense of time shift alongside the presentation.
- Painting can be seen as a transformational process and it can be done in reverse mode. The support moves, the paint stand still [Elsbeth Böniger]. Here time plays an important role, a bit like the drying time of oil paint, but here drying time impacts the markings of the paint on the surface.
- I like the three dimensional support (quite sculptural) of honeycomb cardboard. I have to see how and when I could use it for my own works.
- Applying reduced tonal values (three only) can already convey a strong believable image and forms [Kotscha Reist]
- Overall, this exhibition ‘About Painting‘ was fascinating for me. It opens up new territories for painting. I really liked the more contemporary methods and perspectives with different materials and fusion of abstract markings in a presentational way. Thus less ‘boring’ than painting nice pictures 😉
- Galerie Kornfeld, Bern – ABOUT PAINTING – PART I (no date)
Available at: http://www.kornfeld.ch/index.cfm?uuid=436B0BA3D9D9424C414FC5B382DF3992&o_lang_id=2
[Accessed: 16 February 2016]
- Galerie Bischoff und Partner, Bern – ABOUT PAINTING – PART II (no date)
Available at: http://bernhardbischoff.ch/gal/index.php?id=462&tx_gooffotoboek_pi1%5Bfid%5D=12&cHash=23d2fc1ab821e0b09c9cf4e32aa2cd82 [Accessed: 18 February 2016]
- for information on artists:
SIKART Dictionary and database. Available at: http://www.sikart.ch/kuenstlerinnen.aspx [Accessed: 20 February 2016]
- Schaffeld, S. (weblog post, 25 Nov 2015) ‘Silvia Gertsch – Xerxes Ach – Exhibition notes‘ Available from: http://ocalog.stefanschaffeld.com/?p=3181
- Schaffeld, S. (weblog post, 20 Feb 2016) ‘Rolf Iseli – Exhibition notes‘ Available from: http://ocalog.stefanschaffeld.com/?p=3640