For his first exhibition at Nosbaum Reding Gallery, the world-renowned German painter Helmut Dorner will be showing a series of recent abstract paintings in which he continues his ongoing research into the possibilities and limitations of abstract painting. The small works on wood and canvas exhibited here explore the act of painting as such, which appears not as a purely rational decision but as a multifaceted process dependent on personal or extraneous factors. While their simplified forms and reduced palette nod to Minimal Art, their figurative vocabulary and evocative titles (Night Decision, Oktopus, Schuh...) point to a realm beyond abstraction that includes time and space as constituent elements of the painterly experience. At times reminiscent of Matisse’s late cut-outs, Dorner’s works combine form and colour into ostensibly plain compositions that play with notions of fullness and emptiness, visibility and concealment, motif and background. Their seeming planeness is contradicted by the underlying layers of paint shining through and the apparent brushstrokes: the painterly gesture remains visible as an expression of the author’s personal existential experience.
Helmut Dorner (b. 1952) is one of the most important painters of our time. After studying under Gerhard Richter at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art from 1976 to 1982, he went on to exhibit with the famed Konrad Fischer Galerie. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world, including documenta IX in Kassel (1992), and can be found in numerous public and private collections such as Centre Pompidou Paris, ZKM Karlsruhe, Museum Winterthur, Fundación Arco, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. He has been Professor of Painting at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe since 1990.
Caption : Helmut Dorner, Oktopus, acrylic on
wood, 146 x 126,5 cm, 2018
© Helmut Dorner