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Julia Scher

Magere Zeiten


To speak with Markus Saile is to look into the mind’s eye of a chemist, stonemason, rocket scientist, cinematographer, editor, wine maker, marksman, balloonist, engineer and chef all in one. A cull of “thinly painted” images is presented during exhibition at RECEPTION. Developed out from a complex search, fresh thin reservoirs of color-inhabited turpentine are shown. Saile’s “lean application” concept has been broadened over the last year, reaching new combinations that result in a community of images able to inhabit light, color and time.

Saile states “The paintings are between the picture as a ‘window’ in the classical sense of representation and the picture as a diagram with its pictorial problems.”

This space in-between (classical window and picture as diagram) is also a place of wanting, of hunger for an unknown solution.

Installation vantage points are expressed in the selection of works for each wall or other architectural component. The architecture provides the “full wrapper” Saile wishes to achieve. The arrangements guide the viewer into a “key” location, fostering the feeling of locking, holding, and balance something achieved in masonry key stoning. A keystone, last stone up, cements place.

Here Saile, toying with equal distribution of painted and action keeps it essential In other conditions of installation, he has summarized that pairings have been made in order to embrace and reflect time. In some cases, it is to enhance and direct the time duration (sustained motion in one work), in other parings it is to enhance the reflective illumination possibilities. Markus notes – “Paintings can be arranged and rearranged in different spatial constellations, communicating with each other”.

When they reach a kind of optical vertical plateau, a new kind of experience is seen. “When something is new to us, we treat it as an experience.

We feel our senses are awake and clear. We are alive.” (Jasper Johns, artist)

Saile remains indebted to architecture. It is part of an overall conviction that production can reflect world challenges such as ecology and sustainability. One quality of architecture is to play with light and with issue of translucency. In these works transluscence is essential, and already in the painting. Wheel sand paper at different depths carves out formations for light, and can lead to the rescue of translucence lost during the heavy pours of turpentine, scraping, and color impregnation. Where light gets absorbed like a black hole is a real challenge. For “natural” light, artificial light or “rescued or reflected light”… each painting poses new questions, new experimentations with technique.

Durational aesthetics engage the concept of how long it takes to get to another place through art. In Magere Zeiten, traveling backwards in time we can see back to the beginnings of the work, not unlike the Hubble telescope finds for us earlier light/time. Viewers can recognize duration in the short/small moments as well as the long/large, carrying painting back and forth through time. The markers of time have taken up res dence in the materials he uses, and, how they are deployed.

Geographies of duration are spaces created by the swiftness of the human gaze, its ability to cruise through the paint, to pronounce to find ebb and flow of materials, dissolving spaces and fields of multi-layered thickness with their own internal geographies. Saile seeks the internal renewal of painted spaces, moving the form into the visual future. He starts with an idea then lands somewhere later, somewhere in the light, bringing the viewer along. The painting process involves multi-crafting flooded areas with turpentine and ground color. The surfaces’ underlying character insistently moves up, floats along the edge, and like a balloonist, rises, releasing the full view of its form in space. The meniscus shapes, small canopies, small celluloid floaters, work to give an impression of light fields. Here, illusionary penetrating spaces are a desired result. The hard won repeated turpentine flood planes build a surface, but it’s chemical burn material. Consolidated strikes of color turpentine to the surface’s shadow glows across a surface. It’s a time based, visible push of color against hardness, then a complextask of exposing paint. This durational affinity reminds of gelatinous,celluloid, filmstrip, hand colored film cells of the 1960’s or 1970’s underground art scene, sequential images made under a hot projector beam. Yet here, the viewing is uninterrupted by the shutter of a film projector, stopping the flow. Here, in this “Magere Zeiten” zone the light bounces out back from the MDF and into the eye / of the viewer. The painting shows us where Saile was, and not a reproduction of that experience. It’s an affable artifact.

“The paintings are like a ‘window’ to confront a world you are already aware that you are not walking inside of. You still have the distance.” And what do we make of the distance in this world anyway? As soon as Saile recognizes his system, he moves away again … to let the painting know itself.

text by Julia Scher, September 2014


























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