Bernd Ribbeck’s Simple Geometries

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.