Galerie Kornfeld presents the works of gallery artists Nick Dawes, Robert Fry, Tamara Kvesitadze and Hubert Scheibl, showcasing the diversity and scope of our programme. As colour, movement and form interplay the artists create a new dialogue with the audience presenting challenges and new discoveries to the human qualities of art making. With their own, distinctive styles, the artists use the language of surrealism and abstraction to raise the most universal, but also one of the most intimate question of relationships between people and their surroundings in both formal and psychological ways. Each artist is interested in how works of art are able to create an atmosphere so touching and mesmerizing that they overcome classical narrations of the mediums in which they work.
From a purely material perspective, the works of Nick Dawes are merely two-dimensional surfaces. He soaks the fabric with colour, which blends with the base to form a new unity. The separate fields of colour overlap and interpenetrate each other and thus suggest a sequentiality in both space and time. The fluidity and process-like quality enable space for reflection on the historicity of the act of painting and of life. Dawes paintings are literal abstractions that transform what has been seen and thus develop a life of their own, freed from the duty to represent something. The functionality of the real object that gave the artist the impulse for his painting is thus suspended. The painting follows only its self imposed, art- inherent laws of colour, form, harmony and dissonance.
The ostensibly impulsive painterly gestures of his paintings are, however, achieved by an exact plan that leaves almost nothing to chance. The artist distils abstract forms from the formal particularities of road signs or other sign-like quotidian objects, which he then captures as pencil drawings and transfers to the canvas with thinned poured oil paint. In a controlled way, the paint is poured onto and soaked by unprimed canvases laying on the floor or propped against the wall. The artist succeeds in steering the liquid paint into the previously sketched forms by moving
the canvas. In this long, almost meditational process, the next colour will only be applied after the already painted layers are dry. Amorphous, seemingly organic fields of colour, overlapping, emerge in this manner, and yet they are always clearly separated.
The human condition and body is central for English artist Robert Fry. The nude body is often at the centre of his works: playing with mechanisms like seriality and symmetry, fusing figurative and abstract forms, the artist explores the relationship of the individual with himself, his double and his fellows. In the implementation of these themes, Fry achieves his own visual language, which can be seen as the further development of the intellectual and stylistic heritage of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. The dark, monochrome background against which the characters emerge evokes an archaic yet modern atmosphere.
Fry’s works typically revolve around the act of stripping the human body down to its bare elements and using the resulting form as a canvas for expression. These shredded pieces come together within Fry‘s newest body of work collaging the original form into new abstracted silhouettes which, when coupled with his trademark brooding colour palette, result in figures that are barely visible amongst the dark backdrops. Furthermore the flattened silhouettes are accompanied by featureless faces as Fry tests the boundaries of what degrees of ‘tension’ can be portrayed through a limited amount of colours and forms – removing his figures from any depiction of their face, clothing, or background. Thus Fry explores the human condition ‚naked‘ and ‚stripped‘ away from any preconceptions.
Tamara Kvesitadze‘s work is rooted as much in ancient culture and mythology as it is in surrealism. In her work violence and sexuality converge; faces, masks and fragmented bodies symbolize the inner turmoil of the modern individual, its feelings, its pursuit of happiness and fulfilment, its fears and hopes. She questions human individuality and the individual’s relation with its fellow human beings. The tension in the relationship between genders is a main focus of her oeuvre, practicing in a medium which is most male-dominant and adding to it a female perspective. This is particularly true in the exhibited works which explore the quest for unity amongst conflict and difference.
Her way of understanding the body is ambiguous and always in flux. Her works reference classical sculptures and allude to playful games between the subconscious and conscious worlds as she embraces a focus on mutating processes in the comprehension of the powers and desires of humankind. With her kinetic sculpture „Man and Woman“, the artist deals with the tragedy of impossible and vanishing love and the incomplete state in which it leaves the individual and yet the incredible moment that the two figures collide in the middle to form one whole. The work looks at love and seperation, creation and destruction, joy and despair and the continuous cycles of life and emotions. Within the work „Cave Tellers“ Kvesitadze‘s presents a surreal interpretation of her own life story and that of her native Georgia. In this mixed media work, the characters try in vain to break the boundaries of their narrow, externally imposed cosmos through which they live. Almost appearing like a 3D storyboard, the artist works with multiple images to tell stories of love, fear, desire and desperation.
The artist Hubert Scheibl devotes himself to the pure essence of abstraction, without invoking any theoretical predecessors. His compositions concentrate on the question of what is the pure, true nature of the objects he depicts. His non-representational oil paintings and drawings renouncing subject matter in favour of emotions, the artist’s own, as well as those of his spectators. The artist uses a variety of different tools, such as brush, spatula or fountain blade, to create paintings and drawings that are poignantly balanced between intuition and careful consideration, between an impulsive painterly directness and a reflective distance. Action sits alongside reaction, space alongside surface, chaos alongside structure.
Floating in dematerialized backgrounds, the objects transport the viewer into cosmic spaces that suggest the possibility of another, intangible actuality. By means of cuts and fissures, which the artist draws into the still fresh paint, he partially exposes hidden layers of paint, hinting at spaces beyond the surface, penetrated by luscious light. This layering of spaces, which seem to emanate from separate universes, opens our view to a different reality. Intense, poignant canvases are offset by delicate quasi-sketchy works in which the idyllic stillness is harmonically sparked by the sporadic presence of radiant hue.