Abstraction and it’s placement in the contemporary situation is clearly addressed in the current installation at Galerie Michelen Szwajcer, exhibiting the Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig. Here he confronts these issues head on, in his first solo exhibition in Belgium. The first room of the exhibition presents a tame presentation of an abstracted domestic setting. It’s a radial remuneration, you can see beds, heads, chairs, and stairs, but clearly no one lives here, this allows us the space necessary to ponder arts placement in the home.
Proceeding to the back room one is confronted with the mind numbing wow of geometric abstraction. While stunning, they question the placement of art objects in a tranquil environment, while radically altering the sense of ease.
Using tape as an art material, they reference the work of artists such as John Franklin, (time clock and type writer ribbon), or Chris Wilder, (duct tape on canvas), in their use of an easily available substance for the construction of new meaning. What at first seems to be geometric abstraction is really process painting. Sometimes it’s tape, sometimes just paint, either way these objects suck you in, inviting the viewer to revel in their constructed beauty. In flipping the canvas to a diamond form, these jewel like objects are fractured, polished and refined to perfection. Having no subject allows us to luxuriate in their beauty.