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  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
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Christoph Schmidberger

EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

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Christoph Schmidberger
Resist me - that's all I need

2005

oil on canvas

178 x 129.5 cm
A young girl lies on a large bed in an elegantly furnished room, with legs bare, a breast exposed, and only her pet Spaniel to protect what remains of her modesty. A porcelain, sickly sweet beauty, she presents an image of utter vulnerability, Pre-Raphaelite surrender, and a paradise on the verge of being lost. The title of the work represents a direct challenge to the viewer, confronted with an open-ended and highly charged situation fraught with danger; the tragic, touchpaper corruptibility of adolescent youth.
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Christoph Schmidberger
I am open for everything, don't get me wrong

2005

oil on canvas

178 x 129.5 cm
Bathed in the late evening sun, a young man lies alone by the side of a swimming pool. Lithe and limber, with butter smooth skin and luxuriant, Louis XIV curls tumbling into the small of his back, he is a study in manicured androgeny. His expression is at once confident and sad, like the self-consumed despair of a contemporary Narcissus having just contemplated his own reflection. In his luminous colours, which feel almost too perfect, and his smooth, gleaming surface, somehow just too appealing, Schmidberger crafts a delicate beauty as attractive as it is unsettling.
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Christoph Schmidberger
What controls you must not necessarily be a person

2005

oil and acrylic on mdf panel 25 7/8 diameter

The scene shifts in What controls you must not necessarily be a person to a bed of long grass. The same young girl, in a similar state of partial undress, leans back as her dog licks a smooth, sugar sweet leg. With her eyes closed and head raised upward, like a saint in religious ecstasy, she is caught in a snapshot moment of dark titillation. In his choice of a setting, evocative of innocence as it is of indiscretion, and a format, the tondo, more customarily associated with Italian Renaissance depictions of the Madonna, Schmidberger positions the painting on a precarious line between the sacred and the profane. His title, a matter-of-fact confirmation of what we dare not think, does the rest.

ARTICLES

Christoph Schmidberger

The world of Christoph Schmidberger's pictures is highly charged and many-layered, irrespective of whether one is referring to his paintings, the drawings he has produced in more recent times or a symbiosis of both. Trained as a artist and painter, he adheres closely to practically all the rules and technical methods of the old masters. One could assume that this artist "does not believe in letting himself go in the manner of an anarchist nor in the more or less inspired chaos of the so-called Avantgarde" (as Antonin Artaud described the post-surrealist painter Balthus).
It would be wrong to consider realism as a kind of retrogression, bearing in mind the present trend of an ever increasing amount of image creations. It is indeed in the art of the last decade that the analysis of existing images has become a matter of fact and common practice. All sorts of pictorial structures from all manner of sources (mass media, cinema, advertising, art history) have thus been absorbed by both, the observer and artist alike, and stored in their respective consciousness.
They reside within us and form a subjective, spiritual world, that cannot be recalled in detail. New visual stimuli evoke parts of these image worlds anew, and confer many new meanings upon them. And so we are drawn back to Balthus. He accepts the actuality of the senses and indeed of reason, but he gives them new form. That which is considered recognisable has indeed a meaning that is neither within easy reach nor is it recognisable to the average person. Behind the graceful depictions lurks the horror, or at least its threshold.

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Source: christoph-schmidberger.com


Exterior Reality and Personal Projection
By Florian Steininger

Christoph Schmidberger belongs to a generation of younger artists whose pictorial conceptions and paintings continue to write the chapter of realism. Although realist painting was relegated to a sidetrack in the century of Modernism while abstraction came to be considered as the progressive visual language, crucial figurative positions never ceased to exist alongside the black square, grids and colourfield painting.
Picasso's classic realist works, Balthus, whose artistic relevance is currently seeing a revival, Francis Bacon and the School of London, Alex Katz as a highly acclaimed Pop Artist who many young artists measure themselves against, or Gerhard Richter and his photo -realistic paintings, are all cases in point.

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Source: christoph-schmidberger.com