post-title Rolf-Gunter Dienst | PRIMAVERA | DIEHL + DiehlCUBE | 24.11.2015-23.01.2016

Rolf-Gunter Dienst | PRIMAVERA | DIEHL + DiehlCUBE | 24.11.2015-23.01.2016

Rolf-Gunter Dienst | PRIMAVERA | DIEHL + DiehlCUBE | 24.11.2015-23.01.2016

Rolf-Gunter Dienst | PRIMAVERA | DIEHL + DiehlCUBE | 24.11.2015-23.01.2016

until 23.01. | #0269ARTatBerlin | From 24th of November 2015 to 23rd of January 2016 DIEHL and DiehlCUBE are presenting the exhibition PRIMAVERA by the artist Rolf-Gunter Dienst.

It’s all about colour with Rolf-Gunter Dienst (b. 1942). He paints the surfaces of his paintings with endless horizontal ribbons of loop-like ciphers. The result is a colourful, differentiated all-over effect that requires a “pronounced willingness to see” on the part of the viewer, for the nuances of the layers of pigment cannot be discerned without it. Sometimes it’s helpful to look at them through a smartphone camera, which makes detailed inspection easier.

The Dienstian cipher has no content, though it does determine the structure of the image, a structure that then dissolves into a plane of colour. It’s an obliteration in the full sense of the word, for as more layers are added, more are effaced. This working process is reminiscent of the evolution of a text, where the final version always consists of its overwritten predecessor versions. Dienst draws inspiration for his paintings from his environment, from literature, from classical music, from the green landscape of Malaysia. But he’s mainly interested in the structure of things. His paintings don’t have any direct templates. He’s banished all subject matter from his art. He doesn’t illustrate and he certainly doesn’t paint landscapes. The subject of his work is colour itself. Purely for the sake of the autonomy of colour in abstract painting, his work eschews any sort of reference to the external world. Any link back to reality is in the eye of the beholder alone.

Like his paintings, Dienst’s pencil drawings consist of one basic element, the module. These ovular or kidney-shaped forms contain regular patterns of dots and cover the surface of the image with an all-over structure. The repetition is not confined to each individual drawing either; it runs through all of them as an endless continuum. For Dienst these drawings are “models of organic plans or maps”. On one occasion, on a flight during a visit to Australia, he was able look down at the landscape from above. This view left such an impression that he started making his first drawings.

Dienst has been painting ciphers on canvas since the early sixties and drawing modules on paper since 1976. In its radicality his work closely parallels the oeuvres of conceptual artists such as On Kawara and Roman Opalka, which also operate between the finite and the infinite. The consistency and almost manic quality of the working processes of these three artists points to the gulf between endlessness and countability and, above all, to its irrelevance for the purposes of limited human perception. The life cycle necessarily brings an end (and of course a beginning) to any artistic pretensions to the infinite perpetuation of a concept. One consequence of the imperfection of human understanding is that the incompleteness of the infinite cannot be comprehended as such. And so the Dienstian cipher also dissolves into infinity, just as it merges into the cosmos of colour. (Tina Sauerländer)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

Vernissage: Saturday, 21st November 2015, 06:00 – 08:00 p.m.

Exhibition period: Tuesday, 24th November 2015 – Saturday, 23rd January 2016

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Image caption: Rolf-Gunter Dienst, Primavera, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 360 cm

Rolf-Gunter Dienst – DIEHL – Kunst in Berlin ART at Berlin

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