Gallery 1261 presents
UNDER THE SAME SUN: COLORADO & RUSSIA
May 28 – June 20, 2015
Introducing David Grossmann and Ulrich Glieter, in a show of new works of naturalism motivated by land, politics and poetry
DENVER, CO. Gallery 1261 is pleased to announce a two man show featuring Ulrich Gleiter and David Grossmann, two fresh, strong voices in naturalism and landscape working half a world apart—Grossmann in southern Colorado, Gleiter in Russia. Show opens May 1, and both artists will be in attendance at the reception, from 5:00PM to 8:00PM.
Beyond the vast distance in geography, these artists also approach the canvas in vastly different manners. Grossmann, with thin, exact brushwork draws upon his subtle, quite style to express emotion and a sense of atmosphere and breath beyond the canvas’s two dimensions. There is a reverence to his painting, a misty, dreamlike quality that pulls in and washes over the viewer giving one the sense of falling into a deep meditation on nature, as if standing next to Annie Dillard on Tinker Creek, quietly observing and recording.
Ulrich Gleiter’s work, on the other hand, is a cacophony of thick, messy brushwork, so abstracted that you are forced back from it to take in even the smallest canvases. And yet the staccato vibrancy of paint—color, light, design and all the rest—sing, no, shout to viewers to come closer, look for the many strands of color in the trunk of a tree or a hillside or dry creek bed.
We asked the artists about their recent work and what we can expect.
1261: What are you working on for this show? Do you have a theme?
Grossmann: These are all recent paintings with several recurring themes that tie them together. My hope is that each of my paintings would be a reminder of the peace and beauty that surround us. Balance and simplicity are two ideas that have influenced these particular paintings.
Gleiter: Well, for the most part, the pieces I have in the show are landscapes mostly painted on travels throughout Europe—the Urals, the Volga River in Russia and the Republic of Georgia.
1261: What’s changed in your work these days?
Gleiter: Painting landscapes did take on new meaning to me. Before, painting scenery was mostly about seeing beauty in a landscape but that changed in 2014. Allow me elaborate: Politically, early 2014 had been a watershed for Europe. But the light-minded years following the unification of the continent after the Cold War are over. All of a sudden and abruptly, a new, somber atmosphere became all-present once again. In particular for me, a foreigner living a good portion of the year in Russia, those months brought their own certain challenges. On one hand, I was caught by a feeling that did not allow me to proceed with painting as before: formalism appeared not valid anymore. Then there was the omnipresence of political ambitions, from all sides around me, justified or less justified, that was trickling into the lives of people as never before, at least for my age so far.
Nowadays, watching news on television in Russia has become unbearable. This now makes me get out in the early mornings and experience sunrises, sunsets and nature. So, that brought me an enormous gift. I felt as being in nature made me forget all those man-made intrigues. And it puts them into perspective: the thought that so many politics have taken people and whole countries hostage. Politics come and go, whereas nature remains. That impressed me more than ever and gives me hope for the better. Frankly, it opened my eye again for the meaning of painting landscapes. I see my paintings as my diary.
1261: Have you have any new insights that have come out of working towards this show?
Grossmann: Lately I have been giving myself more freedom to experiment with composition and with surface texture. I build my studio paintings in a long process of glazing and layering that allows me to discover intriguing surface textures and subtle transitions of color. My compositions are often experiments in balance, especially in my paintings that have large, open areas that edge toward minimalism. Balance comes with saying just enough to capture the essence. It is like writing poetry, finding just the right words to light up a reader's imagination. My paintings are more about emotions than about the landscape itself. There are two large paintings in this show, which is a new area for me to explore. Both of these paintings are an attempt to capture the feeling of being inside of the forest, of being surrounded by trees, caught up in their rhythms and their silence.
Gleiter: Well, I think that I did create the paintings for this show with new insights. I feel they are more mature than earlier pieces. Then, the biggest result from the work that I have done so far is that it leaves me with the wish to do more and keep painting.
1261: How do you each see yourself fitting in this show?
Grossmann: Our very different ways of approaching painting will make this show a dynamic experience. It will be unusual and exciting.
Gleiter: What struck me in David’s work is the clarity of his compositions, how well he is coming from an idea about his future painting and how calmly, nevertheless full with emotions and feelings, he brings his observations onto the canvas. I am really looking forward to see his paintings in person at the show. David’s way of painting, obviously calmer than my impressionistic manner, will provide a good match, I am sure.