until 04.11. | #4019ARTatBerlin | Taubert Contemporary present from 13. September 2023 (Vernissage: 15.09.) the exhibition missing pink by the artist Markus Weggenmann.
It was the commitment to “flatness”, to the fundamental flatness of the medium of the image, which the American critic Clement Greenberg demanded of all advanced painting in the post-war decades and which still finds its distant echo in the paintings of Markus Weggenmann. For his paintings, too, stage a sovereign surface art in spatiality that can at best still be found in the fading stage of form superimpositions.
This decided two-dimensionality manifests itself in two ways in the new works currently on show at Galerie Taubert Contemporary. On the one hand, the highly abstracted paintings refuse to open up any perspective space – all the colour forms seem to lie on one plane like silhouettes – and on the other hand, they confront the viewer with an absolutely flat (almost “photographic”) surface, in whose design the artist dispenses with both the relief of the paint application and any form of “handwriting”. Accordingly, these works also lack anything confessional or ostensibly subjective, and this is how they are conceived from the point of view of their genesis. They are based on small-format gouaches, free colour/shape studies, which are later scanned in, modified on the computer and finally transferred to the large (or, more recently, miniature-like small) picture format. They then face us smoothly and neutrally, carried by the radiance of the homogeneously applied, highly pigmented glue paints, which give the pictures an absolute presence: Painting conceals nothing here, suggests nothing behind the scenes, it is entirely with itself, entirely an appearance and power that dominates the space.
As already mentioned, colour is the carrier of these energies, but the compositional tension that Weggenmann imparts to his paintings proves to be no less relevant. The variance with which he interlocks the colour forms, brings them into an interrelation on the surface and thus gives his painting the desired vitality is astonishing.
In fact, it is entirely bound to the appearance of the picture, but it would be a mistake to pigeonhole Weggenmann as “concrete art”. For all his aesthetic self-sufficiency, the consistently organic forms of his paintings document a sublime reference to nature, which occasionally even concretises itself in the motif. An example of this is LW 439 from 2022, which, like a conundrum, oscillates between abstract composition and motif painting (tulip still life?). One might think it is a still life painting in the spirit of Pop Art, but I suspect that Weggenmann is closer to Matisse than to Warhol. One might think of the late decoupages of the French master, for example, which are echoed in the Monstera motifs of LW 406 and LW 421 (both from 2022). But this is by no means the only similarity. Like Matisse, Weggenmann is not afraid to profess sensualism, sensuality in the arts. At the moment, this is certainly not all that popular in the face of omnipresent, often politically motivated conceptualism, but historically it undoubtedly forms a basis for the genre under discussion here – painting, which is always young, radiant and powerful.
– Christoph Schreier
Markus Weggenmann *1953 born in Singen/Hohentwiel, Germany lives and works in Zurich and Lumnezia, Switzerland
Vernissage: Friday, 15 September 2023, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 13 September 2022 – Saturday, 4 November 2023To the gallery
Titelbild: LW 487, 2023, high pigmented distemper on cotton, 190 x 190 cm, 74.8 x 74.8 inches
Exhibition Markus Weggenmann – Taubert Contemporary | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibition Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin