Clages Gallery | Bernhard Walter – Sechs Dekorationsvorschläge für mein Zimmer – Press release
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Bernhard Walter – Sechs Dekorationsvorschläge für mein Zimmer – Press release

June 02 till July 14, 2012

« Material, space and color are the main aspects of visual art. Everyone knows that materials can be picked up and sold, but no one sees space and color. Two of the main aspects of art are invisible; the basic nature of art is invisible. The integrity of visual art is not seen.» (Donald Judd)

In the 1960s, Donald Judd predicted the early death of the rectangular-shaped canvas and declared material, space and color the main aspects of visual art. For his third solo exhibition at Clages, Bernhard Walter will be taking up Judd’s components. For his exhibition “Six Decorating Suggestions For My Room”, he makes space and color visible by melding them into a symbiosis.

The six colorful canvases appear to be almost floating in the gallery space, where gray-nuanced textiles hang around them like drapes. Fabric plays gently upon the deep blue, bright yellow and luminous orange, making them seem as though they were lifting away from the wall.

The fabric and color form their own momentum in combination, playfully throwing perception and gravity into question. The near perfection of the color surface lends the work a unique effect, making them seem intangible and surreal in combination with the fabric. While the textile lends the picture panel a perplexing vitality, the association in perspective also brings both elements out into the space. The almost evenly-filled “picture plane” is robbed of its original purpose – to contain the painting.

The basic elements of color, surface and line are thus woven together. Color serves as a structural material dominating the individual frames. Textiles become a color-nuanced experience, engaging the space in a gestural way. Line is reduced to the hard edge of the color chart, which again contrasts with the undulating borders of the object as a while. This interplay of elements breaks open the traditional concept of a picture motif.

Textile as a material plays an especially important role in the work, as it not only supports the motif, it is the motif. The color surface is lifted from its support structure and is playfully, sublimely scattered around it.

Sabine Schiffer