Galeria Filomena Soares presents the most recent paintings by German artist Peter Zimmermann (1956, Freiburg), from 29 March to 19 May 2012. The artist will be present at the opening on March 29th - Thursday - 21:30 pm.
For over two decades, Zimmermann has developed a very own expression of contemporary abstraction, clearly stated in its election material - epoxy resin. The characteristics of a viscous material, difficult to control and artificial finishing - meaning no manual or craft - introduce a relevant aspect in the way of seeing and doing painting: conceptuality understood between the uncertainty of the object and its representation.
Initially, from a recent historical reference - namely, the history of abstract painting through the work of Mondrian, Malevich and Pollock - the artist has developed their own forms of representation of abstraction by reproducing it and revisiting it from a realistic point a view. By meticulously copying exhibitions posters, including paintings from these painters, Zimmermann questioned the gesture and expression of these abstractions, reflecting aesthetic and theoretically on the problems of painting representation in a technological age. The resulting paintings range from geometric and standardized compositions and others more intuitive of a poetic lyricism disconcerting. Later, the artist breaks definitively with the latest assumptions that kept his work connected with the visible reality. The exhaustive work in computer programs of processing digital images, from images found on the Internet of references to the contemporary world or old photographs, deconstructs the referent without erasing the concept. When transferred to the screen, these images take on new characteristics inherent to the specific material used.
The resin, which were previously dissolved pure color pigments often strident, is applied over the white surface of the screen, thus giving the feeling that emanates from an inner light work, intensifying their colors. Simultaneously, each color has a remarkable effect as compared with the background and in contrast with the surrounding colors. Sometimes, the top layers are assumed as the background and, instead, the lower layers seem to come closer to the surface, demonstrating an excellent translucency game and optical illusion. In some cases, it also happens the raw canvas is visible, thereby incorporating the composition of the work. The compositions with different patterns, in which there is the combination of primary and secondary colors, in association with the rhythmic repetition of forms, create a harmonious movement that brings to mind the industrial production. The evocation of a fluid and slow motion, contrary to the static forms of rhythmic compositions, represents a superb moment of his work and use wisely the resin poured onto the surface of the screen through the use of stencils. Amorphous overlap forms seem to merge as they will spread the pictorial surface to return soon to retire. Justaposed Smaller darker drops and larger dimmer droplets the artist form layers of color trapped in pools of cured epoxy. An epiphany of color and transparency which results in surfaces with a light colored almost psychedelic. More recently, the artist has introduced airbrush painting that deeply certifies the artificiality and vagueness of the forms disclosed. The relief, light, transparency or opacity, brightness, or matte point us to a hidden figuration, revealed through the luxurious feeling of retina caused in its viewers.
The primordial relationship that the artist reveals in the management of media he uses to paint suggests a ritualized complicity between them. Mediated by the action of painting itself, this relationship allows develop a rationalized and intellectual painting. On other hand, the tactile sensations that highlight of their work reward an intoxicating luxurious feeling wrapped in a sense of questioning what we see and what it represents. The doubt here found seems to become more evident when the brightness of the screen reflects the viewer or, in other cases, the matte paintings absorb its surroundings. In this effect of reveal and hide we find the main concern in the work of Zimmermann, that is, at what moment - space-time - the painting slides into a representation of something or the abstraction of the representation of itself, or the encounter between the two visions, where the viewer reflects more about himself than about what exactly envisions. This self-process is carried out, as the paintings, two-way further: on the one hand, an intellectual and rational process for self-examination and, moreover, a set of feeling often unexplained. In this sense, the paintings of Zimmermann are a vehicle that allows self-questioning and self-pity, in a lonely path where everyone exposes their weaknesses and their strengths or their fears and their braveries.
Despite their absolute retinal properties, Zimmermann's paintings are the result of a very particular aesthetic research and a process of intellectual and technological experimentation. The artist explores the potential of the image that lead the mind of the viewer through a mental journey that goes beyond the limits of the canvas, asking us about what we see, or about ourselves.