Berlin, Germany based painter Felix Becker's first exhibition in the US.
"I am pleased to announce my first solo show in the United States, titled erase reverse, at Maus Contemporary. The title refers specifically to the technique of the presented works. All of them can be seen as paintings in an abstract manner, as they feature geometrical divisions and purported monochrome color fields combined with rough surfaces of three-dimensional debris. But for me personally there are also other relevant aspects.
Just as valuable as adding paint to the canvas is the opportunity to take some steps back. In order to do this, I work with tools of erasure and cleaning, like thinner, knifes, scrapers, scrubbers, sandpaper, tea towels and sponges. What I try to achieve by these means is not to undo a step, but to utilize new methods for the stages of painting. Thus, my way of painting is the repetition of addition and removal. Sometimes this process lasts for hours until I am satisfied with one particular part. While I also love the aspect of intentional failure, I can mask out specific qualities of the painting and add a delicate element for example. This could mean overpainting already working parts of the composition or adding an intrusive color to displace the rest of the painting. Even an initial decision to throw a mass of paint on to the canvas was an act without the belief that this would be any good. However, it has become an essential part of my paintings, not only to work with a large volume of paint in terms of color, but also as a body. This is why I understand the process of erasing and evolving failures as a reversal to open up space for spontaneous results.
With these works of the vertebra series I gave a centered vertical line with a notable body. The axis emphasizes the geometrical being of the rectangular canvas. Thus it is an agent of balance. And at the same time, its rough shape is far away from being a constructivist element. Instead the abstract surface turns to a figurative organization, just made by piling up the paint. I like the idea of the painting's spine, which also evokes the conception that the work is alive – an active counterpart.
Painting for me is a process of emancipation, in which the work and I become related, but finally end up being independent from each other."
- Felix Becker, December 2017