Henning Haupt, Body Ritual: Freedom and Form
Haupt uses his artistic practice to inquire further about the nature of painting, both as uniquely self-contained individual spaces and as a process of production. Although they are non-representational, the viewer can perceive a clear sense of structure and depth in each of Haupt’s works. This sensation of tangible space is achieved through a multifaceted process which combines a vibrant palette with repeated circular shapes and gestural marks. The viewer is slowly drawn into that expanse and allowed to experience the interplay of color and space.
Haupt employs rich, vivid hues to transform ostensibly flat, abstracted picture planes into sprawling three dimensional spaces. Intense, solid strips of undiluted colors, most often magentas, pinks, yellows, and blues, are layered and superimposed onto each other. Due to the uncompromising vibrancy of the paint utilized, all typical color dynamics are pushed to their visual extremes. Colors are vigorously thrusted into the forefront, while others are forced back. Through this medium, a foreground, middle-ground, and background are created inside the confines of the paintings. This spatial effect is further heightened by Haupt interweaving the colors in an array of chaotic, spiraling bands. An abundance of both large and subtle interactions between these entwined strands accumulate to produce environments constructed of seemingly contradictory formations; concrete, dense assemblages that are simultaneously mercurial and writhing. Haupt allows these realms of pure color to follow their own logic, yet to convey enough physicality that a viewer can explore them.
The recurring disk-like figures and coiling, intersecting lines prevalent in Haupt’s body of work also serve as a demonstration that each painting itself is a construct of his making. The implementation of a basic geometric shapes, replicated on a sustained, near-mechanical frequency, draws attention to the labor taken to create the paintings. However, the slight irregularity displayed in each looping figures, such as differing opacity of paint and varying width and texture of brushstrokes, reveals the human hand behind the work. In doing this, Haupt ties himself directly to the creation of his pieces, as both the architect of these abstracted spaces, and as a body/physical apparatus that facilitated the production of the paintings.
Through various visual techniques and actions, Haupt’s artworks investigate the boundaries between abstract painting, physical spaces, and the body.