The examination of the fundamentals (2018)

The examination of the fundamentals refers to works from the years 2012 to 2018. As different as these are in the thematic composition, they nevertheless share a common artistic approach.

It is a conception of art that cultivates creation out of imagination, valuing the figurative. The examination of perception is cultivated. Abstract considerations echo in the composition, configuration, and stages of the painting and viewing process. Realism is not a benchmark in itself, but a level of visual information similar to realism is sought. This is one creative means of many, used for the development of the image. These means of design and their effects are at times contradictory; these contradictions themselves constitute a means of design. Determining the relationship of these often competing design tools and their effects is an important aspect in creating the images. Painting is also understood here as a qualified examination of human perception.

This also applies to questions of painting technique: the effect of colors and shapes on one another, the over one another and next to each other, which results in the course of the painting process, require similar considerations. A special field of tension arises between the tendency to generalize and the work on the detail. Biographical or anecdotal factors are of little importance.

In general, the pictures deal with one, rarely with several topics. This topic serves as the starting point of an investigation whose result is unknown to me. The elaboration of the picture takes place with the processing of the theme, one mutually defining the other. Often the works are a purposeful examination of a specific topic, impression or mood. Sometimes these are formulated as questions (if the sky were water – would you be on the shore, anywhere where you are?) – this relates to the painting called Am Ufer, the English equivalent roughly being “at the shore”-ed-.
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At the beginning of the work there is often ambiguity about my thoughts and feelings about the subject of the work. With the progressing painterly treatment comes clarity, and thus the artistic solutions themselves become more clear. A special role is played by the painting technique and the time factor – especially the larger formats represent projects that take many months to complete. The pictures emerge from a myriad of small dots of color, which complement, overlay, obscure and face each other. The finished work is achieved by layer over layer of color, of work, and of meaning
gradually merging into the final appearance of the picture. The result is often dramatically different from the individual stages that it has undergone during its creation. The works are as much concerned with the indistinguishable that a whole is composed of, as with the joy of the visible.

The work on the picture often begins with drafts, be it in the drawing, painted or in the imagination. Here I appreciate the drawing for its ability to give an immediate expression to the inner picture, be it from the imagination or the observation.

The works from the years 2012 to 2018 share, notwithstanding the themes of the individual pictures, the reference to what I see as basic aspects of human existence, to human experiental spaces, their spheres of action and the conditions thereof.

Matthias Lechner