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Wafer-thin on hard wood

With "Formations", the Biesenbach Gallery shows new works by the Japanese artist Hideaki Yamanobe


"Formations" is the title of the exhibition in which Hideaki Yamanobe is showing his larger and smaller pictorial worlds at Galerie Biesenbach.

They play with what is visible and with what is perhaps not yet or no longer visible. How else could one see the very delicate clouds of colour applied to an almost equally bright colour ground. Whereby the word colour already denotes a much-too-much, because the finest differences between ivory light and misty grey are rather "achromatic" on a colour scale.

But even there, where the "colour" becomes strong, up to the deepest concealing black of an enormous ink cloud, power and dynamics become all the more perceptible, but colour is also absent here.

It is the basic tensions between brightness and darkness that are expressed in the work of the artist, who was born in Tokyo in 1964, and for which no colour is needed. The tension persists through all shades.

Despite the reduced behaviour (or perhaps because of it), everything seems precious, the wafer-thin collaged silk papers on the wooden support, the sanded edges that produce black lines under the sanding of the many layers, precisely because at some point there was a black in between. But all this still does not remain in the diffuse.

There are the five black lines, drawn as if with a ruler, which clearly, concisely and precisely represent a house, this time on a reddish background. "Square Garden" is the ambiguous title, which in this archaic, completely transparent five-line house form also thematises the garden. The "formations" given in the exhibition title are extremely different picture for picture.

References to nature are everywhere, you just have to take a little time and perhaps think a little the other way round, when in "Snowy Night" a jet-black hill lies on top of the horizon line of a white picture field. The surfaces have it in them to shift like natural events, like fates or like the whims of people. And you can see that the poetry is always free.

The materials are versatile. Acrylic and sand are used, that fine gampi paper in which the leaves of the daphne are processed, Japanese inks and even the sticks of traditional fans, which the artist uses for squeegeeing.

Hideaki studied art in his native city and received a scholarship to study printmaking in Basel. He now lives and works in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Tokyo.

A new feature is the collaboration with composer Matthias Pintscher, who also perceives the paintings acoustically and thinks they can be heard visually: "We encounter silence and a very personal depth of expression."

Until 30 Sept, open Wed to Fri 12-6 p.m., Sat 12-4 p.m., Zeughausstrasse 26. Prices range from 800 to 12 150 euros.




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