In Matthias Meyer’s Canvases, Paint Masquerades as Water
Meyer studied painting at Germany’s highly regarded Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, with one of the medium’s contemporary masters:
These methods result in works characterized by both abstraction and naturalism, and which effectively convey the play of light, shadow, and color on bodies of water. The surface of Zweige (2013), for example, features a cacophony of delicate, energetic lines that resolve into a tangle of reeds. Bursting across the composition, they could be reflected in, or submerged beneath, the blue and purple surface of a pond. In Wand (2014), bubbles disrupt the deep blue-green water that appears to gently undulate across the canvas. Here, it is difficult to determine whether Meyer plunges viewers underwater or whether we are skimming its surface. Such indeterminacy animates all of the artist’s paintings and holds our eye as we untangle his watery visions. Similarly, in Melbourne (2013), the grey-violet pigment that covers the canvas could be a frozen waterscape, crisscrossed by the dark shadows of tree branches, or the rippling surface of a river, released of its winter chill in early spring.