Martina Steckholzer’s paintings offer a poetic ambience suggesting an infinite nothingness of space. Working from video footage filmed in art galleries, air fairs, studios, and museums, she isolates frames that capture the in-between spaces, unusual angles, and overlooked vantages of familiar generic places. Translated into paintings, these images become dislocated into virtual fields: flat canvases projecting abstracted illusions of line, shape, and tone replay the experience of gallery within the gallery, mirroring the hallowed white cube as sublime aesthetic.
Derived from a nature photograph, Martina Steckholzer’s Maybe We Should is a mere insinuation of landscape. Reduced to a series of black gestures on a white ground, Steckholzer’s canvas resounds with a strange absence. Referencing the high contrast of photo media, Maybe We Should occupies an unexpected space as a painting: cropped as if a screen, its stark contrast replicates an ethereal light. Fractured by her attenuate mark-making, the suggestion of image hovers with brittle fragility.
Devoid of colour, Martina Steckholzer’s Neon uses only grey hues to further minimalise her architectural subjects; as the recognisable melts away through delicate layers of paint, only the empty inference of space remains. In Neon, Steckholzer uses the malleable quality of her medium to reflect phantasmal tricks of light, her graphic image dissolves into subtle hand-made gestures. Cut through with black forms, Neon gives the sensation of both solidity and weightlessness, creating an ephemeral expressionism from the cold rationality of photographic media.