The shared aim is to break free from any reference to the object, combined with a shift towards a pictorial reality, constituted through colours and shapes, light and shade. The “new abstraction” of the 21st century, however, gets by without a programmatic reference to the discourse of historical modernism. It doesn’t pursue a purely rationalistic or objective creation of form, like Concrete Art, for instance. While it certainly draws from these sources, it finds its own agile, independent character through a more subjective, individual stance.
The main focus of the exhibition “Architecture and Abstraction” is on geometric-constructive works, whose primary source of inspiration is architecture. Common to all artistic positions on display is the creation of unmistakable forms that simultaneously dispense with any documentary or representational characteristics.
In her latest series, the photographer Andrea Grützner focuses on the architecture of the 1950s. During a fellowship at the “Koblenzer Stadtfotografen”, in the summer of 2015, the artist explored Koblenz’s public urban space, with a focus on facades and their grids, which she translates into vibrant, graphically formed picture details. She thereby concocts image fragments that are painterly, abstract and surreal, and which have nothing in common with what we usually perceive as urban architecture. Although Andrea Grützner’s medium is photography, her works oscillate between photography, sculpture and collage. She is as much interested in the perception of structures of space, history and memory, as she is in visual irritations, in that which is both familiar and unusual.
Through their contemplative character, Friederike von Rauch’s pictures of deserted light-spaces in museums, monasteries and Venetian palazzi, uncover unique worlds with an almost infinite potential for narratives and stories. Mostly taken outside opening hours, the images contain highly personal interpretations of space, bringing out the specific character of each place and, owing to their calm observation, creating emotional condensations. The focus on small pictorial details neutralizes their depictive character in favour of strongly abstracted images. Colour, or rather colourlessness plays a vital role. Friederike von Rauch works analogically with a medium format camera, always using the available light.
In her paintings, Tanja Rochelmeyer creates “visions of space”: delicate, almost floating hybrids, which refer to the polydimensional structure of the Internet. In her works, colour functions as both form and content, creating geometrical, labyrinthine configurations of splintered spaces, shaped by perfect colour gradients in impressive clarity. Although the main theme of all of her works in the exhibition is spatiality or spatial visual experience, the relation between background and figure, between top and bottom, remains in suspension; some individual works even lack a definite orientation and function both horizontally and vertically.
In his monochrome works, the New York artist Maximilian Schubert, a guest at 68projects, explores the limits of painting and sculpture, as well as the theme of the trompe l’oeil. The works in his “Untitled” series initially seem like white monochrome canvasses, whose surface texture is reminiscent of the folds of a curtain. In reality, however, the folded texture is cast. The only hint for the viewer that “nothing is as it seems” is the visibility of a delicate web of cracks and occasional imperfections. The wall behind the piece becomes visible.