Florian Meisenberg

18 May 2011 – 9 Jul 2011

Kate MacGarry Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 8, 26, 47, 48, 55, 78, 149, 242, 243, 388
  • Shoreditch High Street / Liverpool Street / Old Street

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Florian Meisenberg captures something rare in painting: lightness. Things appear weightless, a motley group of colourful objects tumble around in a crisp, white space and the human body is evoked in a pink line as it weaves across the canvas. In many of the works there is no external frame, the canvas floats unstretched like a flag or banner in the sky. There is nothing superficial about the lightness, it is aspirational and pensive. Meisenberg is deeply aware of the counterpart to lightness: heaviness - the titles of his work, and the words inscribed across his canvases such as I Have Pain, tell of suffering. In Six Memos for the Next Millennium Italo Calvino tells how he strives to express lightness in his writing: 'Wherever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space.' Meisenberg delivers this different space, an open field where tensions are not resolved and different states can co-exist. The colours are radiant and the whole colour spectrum is on display: brilliant blues and sharp, acid yellows play against rosy pinks and muted greys. The surface has a range of textures: letters are dribbled with thick, globular paint, the human body is rendered with broad, rough strokes while the backgrounds are translucent. There is a sense of a natural order: arrangements appear to form freely, heads fall naturally into a pyramid as their shapes fit around each other. In some of his works sexual gymnastics or a feast is going on, as body parts and fluids, merge. The body, sometimes turned inside out, is reminiscent of a Jean Dubuffet's figure; but unlike the angst ridden Expressionist, Meisenberg is gentle, playful and interested in the mysteriousness of life, in unexplainable forces.


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