The desk of Berlin-based artist Bernd Ribbeck is surely scattered with unlikely tools of a painter—like ballpoint pens, varnish, markers, and India ink—but his images could not be more resolute. Each geometric shape is intricately rendered and interlocked with a symmetric counterpart; each pair has a luminous glow, achieved through methods of building, sanding, and washing that only stop when the mandala-like forms are faded to perfection. Where does Ribbeck dream up such shapes?
“Shapes, although quite concrete ... convey a promise of luck,” Ribbeck has said. “The lozenges on a roulette table, for example, or the soundscape in a casino when all of the slot machines emit high notes—to me that’s almost like the divine sound of a very terrestrial joy. The same goes for geometric shapes: they are basic forms but they are also part of the ‘high’ culture; although simple to construct, they can become complex and charged during the process of creating an image.”Ribbeck’s solo show is on view at Harris Lieberman Gallery through May 4, 2013.