THE WINDOWING SYSTEM – AS A (HYPERSTATIC) PROBLEM
The Windowing System – as a (hyperstatic) problem – an exhibition of new works by Düsseldorf-based artist Andreas Breunig. The artist’s new body of work is rich with his characteristic engagement of painting as a means for communication and interrogation of the notion of creation.
With unremitting energy radiating throughout the compositions and violent clashes of lines, Breunig’s paintings give an impression of visual chaos, with unruly linear configurations clamoring for attention. Multicolored sensual lines intertwine, jostling against white backgrounds that leave the viewer pondering where each line finds its beginning and end. In each individual composition, layers are built upon one another to form an erratic and charged composition. Impulse seems to be at the core of Breunig’s oeuvre, though on closer inspection the chaos has been carefully and aesthetically arranged.
For the present exhibition, Breunig has mounted his paintings in monochromatic interlocking panels which hang throughout the gallery. Plastered on the panels are digital reproductions of the artist’s paintings. By reproducing an image of the painting and placing it on the same pictorial plane as the canvas, Breunig forces a dialogue between the two. This way of seeing replicates a computer screen and interrogates the difference between the real image and the reproduced and begs the question, does one mode of production have more value than the other? Breunig seeks to challenge the viewer and present new and rare forms of creation, and by doing so bridges the boundaries between the representational and the abstract, questioning notions of perception.
Breunig explains, “Through digital reproduction of the object (here:painting), which (in the process) transforms to an image, subjectivity becomes a main criteria for quality. Try to think of a painting as an image – a symbol for something or someone, and therefore a subjective category. It generates positive or negative associations, influenced by information from or perceptions of others and/or institutions. What you think of it could be right or wrong from an objective perspective, but it can’t be coherent with the reception of the original. By physically constructing the windowing system as a possibility of presentation, I try to abolish given hierarchies, simulate exchangeability, generate and degenerate depth, and question materiality as a precondition. The challenge in a Static sense is to get different surfaces working together as one system while creating a stable object which is variable and has multiple options, or none.”
In the post-analog world which saw artists like Albert Oehlen, who Breunig studied under from 2002 – 2008 at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and Wade Guyton, radically moving away from the analog into the digital, Breunig seems to combine the two ways of making art. While not rejecting the move to digital painting entirely, Breunig accepts this contemporary way of seeing the reproduced image and puts it in direct opposition with painting. By reproducing the image, Breunig explores the infinite potential of digital imagery of seriality to define the limitations of abstraction while manipulating the same imagery.