When B is located between C and D
When B is located between C and D is an exhibition about icons, inverted perspective and the physiological space. A re-reading of the absolute through play. The artists participating in the show, Michael Beutler, Secundino Hernández, André Butzer, Julia Spínola, Mauro Cerqueira, Fernando García, Guillermo Pfaff, Thilo Heinzmann, Otto Zitko, Helmut Dorner, Kiko Pérez, Emanuel Seitz, Björn Dahlem and Ulrich Rückriem, belong to generations remote from the more dogmatic precepts of the idea of the absolute in abstraction. And far from that orthodoxy (theoretical, formal or spiritual), their interpretation is conditioned not only by the hypothesis of isms, but by all that subsequent history distorting the original concept.
Four works that act as icons, by Beutler, García, Dorner and Seitz, create a framework for the exhibition, with works arranged into groups of artists and works that address morphological and conceptual questions, and a certain notion of displacement. As such, what occurs in certain works echoes through into others, and what starts in some draws to a conclusion in others.
When B is located between C and D posits a shift in geometric order. Conceiving of this as a space of appearance, a theatrical space, given according to specific conventions that we take to be good, but which are no more than representational parameters, the exhibition attempts to recreate physiological space: the space of shared organic sense. As suggested by the art historian Pavel Florensky, Euclidian space is only a theory, “a demand that the world be thought of that way”, and “in abstract terms of geometry (…) it is just a particular instance of diverse, utterly heterogeneous spaces”. And these heterogeneous spaces, in which multi-focality emerges as opposed to the perspective of one single vanishing point, in which the tensions, sometimes centrifugal and on other occasions centripetal, introduce particular discourses and fits, are what make up this exhibition.
On the one hand, Beutler’s work, which acts as an almost supremacist icon, a piece that touches on the geometric, but whose development, from the point of view of the material and its fattura, delves deeper into organic questions, establishing a connection with the painting of Hernández, inhabited by floating forms, some more compact, other more gaseous, approaching a certain revision of the Soviet avant-garde and which, in their volatility, slip away and seep into other parts of the exhibition.
On the other hand, Butzer’s painting, which is an invitation to the spiritual, where chromatic duality is not predicated on concrete division, but rather on an internal energy or resonance of the space through light, is linked to a photography by Spínola and a sculpture by Cerqueira. These two may allude to certain forms of, or exercises in, purification through water and the image of washing one’s hands (and all its possible metaphors) in the case of Spínola, and through fire and the idea of burning soap in the case of Cerqueira. Alongside this group, a work by García which, full of incisions and marks on a golden background and suspended up high and at an angle, addresses the speaker as a sort of new Byzantine icon. Finally, the group concludes with a painting by Pfaff, whose oscillating forms echo, in terms of that notion of displacement, Hernández’s floating forms, and behave like moulds or hollow spaces that fill the spaces liberated by the works of Cerqueira and Butzer.
Another of the groups posits the notion of multi-focality. The paintings of Heinzmann and Zitko, accompanied by the spreading branches of a vase by García, make up an ensemble (between organicism and the industrial) that is closer to gesture. The incisions and open cuts on the aluminium surface of Heinzmann’s Aicmo, made from the back, like something residual, and which like Byzantine icons, originates from a greater source whose ultimate spirit imbues the object, would appear to be counterposed by the concentrated and centripetal movement of the automatic writing and flowing consciousness of Zitko.
A sculpture by Pérez goes on to form a link with a painting by Dorner and a sculptural ensemble by Spínola. In this series of sculptures, Pérez addresses questions surrounding prosthetics, the sexual object and a distorted mix of formal modernism and gestural performance. The lack of regular or specific form reminds one of Dorner and the dense, amorphous and soft bodies that fill the surfaces of his wooden panels, in an approximation to painting, as also seen in Pérez’s work, and of a certain notion of the object. Alongside these, a group of simulated oranges by Spínola suggests a reading of the idea of appearance and representation (the orange in this case), typical of the Euclidian perspective as a sort of “falsification of innate space” and the idea of “truth”, in this case associated with perception, in retinal terms, and new aspects of reality.
Finally, an ensemble from the Kosmos series by Rückriem, an astral sculpture by Dahlem, a painting by Seitz, and a series of works on paper by Pérez, constitute a re-reading of the absolute and the cosmic with a schematic and geometrical approach, and its infinity of possibilities in Rückriem’s work; the scientific, religious and inexplicable, also as a symbol of adoration, in the case of Dahlem; pure form and the appearance of the symbol through vibration in Seitz’s painting; and, once more, the floating forms and the shift in orthodox geometry, either levitated or suspended, in Pérez’s work on paper.
Transcendental realities and intelligible worlds which, approached from the perspective of dialectics, intuition and play, present us with these new icons and new forms of spiritual exercise.