MARCdePUECHREDON is delighted to announce the solo exhibition "LE SOLAN" with works by Christian Achenbach (1978, German, lives and works in Berlin). The show comprises recent paintings and new sculptures, which the artist created this summer during his artist residency in Neuchâtel. The exhibition «LE SOLAN» opens on Thursday, 1 September 2016 from 6-8 pm. Christian Achenbach will be present.
Berlin Curator Philipp Bollmann writes about the artist's most recent works:
"Christian Achenbach is a painter. His paintings are "pure painting". This assessment may sound mundane, but is of considerable importance. It does take quite some courage to position oneself like that, when in the context of contemporary art any form of expression and any reference point are permitted. What Christian Achenbach does is to continue the history of painting. According to the artist "the subject is not important, but more to provide painting a stage". Yet it is obvious that Achenbach has invented and refined his own visual language in the last decade. Especially his latest works show his skill in the use of the medium. His paintings are collages of geometric shapes and gestural painting, neon tones and color gradients, of an interaction between static elements and dynamic movements.
Associations come to mind. References to futurism along with elements of cubism can be traced in Achenbach's oeuvre. Artists such as Picassso, Lichtenstein and Kandinsky come to mind. Kandinsky claimed to see colors when he heard sounds and Achenbach relates very much to this love of music. Although aesthetically hardly comparable, the picturesque rhythms and compositions are what gives the pictorial compositions of these artist "sounds". However, Achenbach quotations from art history are not an expression of simplicity or arrogance, but rather how Christian Achenbach seems to understand modern painting as his alphabet whose letters he uses to develop a new language: His very own!
Achenbach's reflections on the medium of painting find an expansion in sculpture. For his most recent sculptures the artist used shards of the French glassmaker Lalique. Formally and aesthetically reminiscent to Constantin Brancusi's "endless column", cones are mounted above each other and invite the viewer to imagine a continuation of the logic of this structure. Seemingly fragile the elements of melted glass balance on top of each other. The objectivity of Brancusi's column is in Achenbach sculpture replaced by sensuousness. Looking at the individual parts of the sculptures one is stricken by thy the fact that that the different colors of glass are connected via the heat of the melting process but do not mix with each other and thus form "amorphous collages" whose integral part is the light.
The conceptual origin of Achenbach glass sculptures can be located in the metaphysics of light - the starting point of Neoplatonism - the doctrine, according to which light is the substance of all things and thus the world. It was the notion that God is uncreated light which illuminates everything which led to the development of "diaphanes" (transparent glass paintings) in gothic cathedrals. Before this historical background, the reference point, the importance and the connection to Achenbach's sculptures become apparent.