Article, Kölnische Rundschau, Wednesday 18/07/2018

Triumph of simplicity

Abstract art in a group show at Biesenbach
by Heidrun Wirth

A grained wooden block is attached to the wall, from which a yellow loop of bent Plexiglas bulges out. In the play of covering and clear view, she brings her hanging dynamics to unfold.

If you only see this picture on the invitation card of Galerie Biesenbach, this wall relief presents itself powerful and dominant. But on site, a mere 13.5 cm high and 7.5 cm wide wall object by Nicolò Baraggioli surprised by a graceful smallness, but sufficient to fill their radiance an entire wall. So it is mostly small formats that present the four artists with different materials. They all work abstractly, some minimalistically and even in the sense of an arte povera, art with simple means.

And since the narrative stories of the world are largely missing out there, the eye is all the more drawn to charming comparisons of the four different artists.It seems that in this non - figurative art, often referred to as "concrete", there is a worldwide binding bond, as demonstrated by the Japanese born Hideaki Yamanobe, born in Tokyo in 1964, Douglas Witmer, born in 1971 in Philadelphia, the Dutch artist duo Graphic Surgery (Gisbert Zijstra and Erris Huigens) and born in Genoa in 1985 Nicolò Baraggioli.

And yet, an almost inexhaustible diversity unfolds: perfect next to the unfinished, high-gloss, reflective surfaces (Baraggioli) in contrast to a dull color (Witmer, Yamanobe). The painting, almost reminiscent of vegetal forms in the Japanese, contrasts with material assemblages, which are nothing more than black overlapping slats (graphic surgery). Irrational vistas arise in the game of construction and deconstruction. But the good thoughtful brushwork can assert itself along with splashes of paint.

This once again questions the long-dead "panel painting", which also has its place here. And so the attraction in this group exhibition lies in the fact that the perception is sensitized as if by itself. This was what Douglas Witmer, influenced by the Mennonite culture in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who "studied the deep relationships to simplicity, peace-making and humility", said: "In the 21st century, I see my work as a clear alternative to our visual culture It is characterized by speed, complexity and complexity, and my hope is that I can simply stimulate the senses, as is the case with the image alone"

Until 28/08, open Tue to Fri 11am - 7pm, Sat 28/07, 12am - 4pm Midissage, St. Apern-Str. 44-46. Prices between 375 and 8900 euros.



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