Thomas ScheibitzBerlin, Germany, April 18-July 14, 2002
To stand before one of Thomas Scheibitz's vast canvases can be an unsettling experience: the brightly colored surfaces of his paintings manage simultaneously to convey unbridled energy and leave one inexplicably cold. It is precisely this paradox that enables the German artist to so successfully evoke the malaise of contemporary culture. His work hovers uneasily between abstraction and representation, residing within the ever-growing rift between lived experience and mediated image. This exhibition includes an entirely new body of paintings created during Scheibitz's residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA as well as works on paper and sculpture.
Each of Scheibitz's paintings features some recognizable and usually quite mundane object or landscape-a flower, an apartment building, a stairwell. This subject matter is then thoroughly abstracted so that only the vestiges of its structure shine through. Solid forms are broken up into jagged planes of color, which are thickly outlined with contrasting hues in a manner reminiscent of the late-nineteenth-century Fauvists. Each shape manages to stand boldly alone, yet the composition never seems unduly fragmented; the shapes somehow coalesce to form a coherent whole.
The surfaces of Scheibitz's works are far from uniform: streaky brushstrokes and drips of color permeate the canvas, and some sections are left unfinished, merely sketched in. These visible traces of Scheibitz's process serve to activate his paintings, imbuing them with an expressionistic vitality. At the same time, Scheibitz's compositions keep his paintings at a chilly remove. We are clearly not invited to enter his world-an impression intensified by the unyielding flatness of his picture plane. Read the entire articleSource: