Suspension of (dis)belief
Markus Saile’s practice operates on a conceptual level of painterly understandings. The works shown in Mönchengladbach are grounded on an intrinsic inquiry into the material and historical fabric of painting-as-medium. The way these paintings came into being is out of the acute intrusion of conceptual thinking in the painterly plain. Everything occurring in the work isn't necessarily restricted on the picture but performed in a dispersed world engulfing it: situated in and through the histories of painting. A small, careful amount of oil is mixed with turpentine in manner that subverts the common dilution process by switching the ratio. Historically turpentine has been used as a thinner for oil painting. Instead of thinning out the pigment the artist maneuvers his way through the chemical solution. The result is a very thin almost vailed, textured surface sitting on top of a wooden plaque; the colors are in a sense almost laying on top of the surface,sitting patiently. The ground has been worked on, it has been sanded and primed with a white base containing chalk. The light shines thus from inside in the most honest sense of the word and creates the illusion of a canvas, whose cloaked and storied agency remains entirely out of the picture. Large brushstrokes cover the entire surface of the wooden panel, in some cases playing with the concept of “illusions”. The formats are highly irregular, varying from long, thin dividers, small almost phone sized all the way to larger broader ones. What gradually makes its way to the surface of these paintings appears upon reflection and process.
A notion of gestural “illusion” appears repeatedly throughout Markus’ work over the past five years. These motives were first introduced during his process (not necessarily intentionally) in a work made in 2016 and have ever since continued to fuse with distinct bodies of work made until today, thus reciting a common narrative that flows from one work to the next; connecting, binding. The form, which resembles the flicker of a wrist, or the trace of a painter’s gesture, charged with a grain of humor, sneaks into many works, and sits on top of coated brush strokes creating the visuality of a third space. For this show the artist worked on a larger scale work that features a selection of the flickered motive organized on a grid, hence nodding to knowledge-devices from the history of science, such as a periodic table or a species catalogue. In that sense these works are conceptual in their inception and manage to operate in a very critical way with their history. An engagement with their past and agency will slowly exit the plane of the painting and enter conceptual narratives. A distinct group of works is made with the use of store-bought magnets, which serve as a new support tethered to a different material character. The supporter of the image, a definitive notion of the Painterly, transitions to a new holding devise baring the search for flatness that has ventured into the modality of the flatscreen.
In dialogue with the Saile’s painterly encounters David Jablonowski protrudes from the provenance of commodities and digital forms. The works correspond to two bodies of work created either using discarded and defected industrial parts or the byproducts of various professional 3D printed techniques. One sole-standing pedestal, made from re-used construction Styrofoam, serves as a base. On top rests a careful selection of individual metal gilded parts. These elements are neatly organized and properly taken care off, safeguarded under a protected showcase. This implies an important aspect of care being introduced into David’s approach: caring for something that perhaps holds a great deal of dangerous memories. Their story of origin is one of industrial evolution and marker-driven innovation, highly linked to an aggressively expanding free-market system that prioritizes speed and profit, over everything else. The smaller metal parts, striking in their beauty and form, were produced to connect two different positions in a large-scale public construction site in the Netherlands and employed either to support cables or pipping. Yet the concept of innovation isn't seen here as some God given miracle, a life savior. It is the painful byproduct of aggressive Capitalistic structures grounded on very old and unspoken laws of supply, demand, and exploitation: rules that are now reaching a critical point. Originally, they were intended for the construction of a bridge. The important and most disarming quality of these assemblies of objects and matter is their honesty.
The artist acts through a forensic lens on the multiplicity of stories they might carry with them, meaning they are not incorporated in an artistic strategy dictated solely by aesthetics, nor do they serve as stand-ins the purpose of representation. They are ready-mades that have been living a hard life and are ready to start talking about it. But it’s their own story to narrate.
Two larger objects of unidentified origins occupy the space. Their opacity does not allow to intrude deeper into their memories and decipher their form. They are the product of a 3D printing program that has produced upon request certain parts, which later on created a broken Palimpsest. This assembly attempts to give materiality to a clearly speculated and imagined digital form that didn’t exist in the physical realm. It is sticking and pocking, laying bear and prickling from underneath a network that long awaited its arrival. Jablonowski’s work speaks on often neglected origins of postindustrial waste and the dangers that may lie stuck underneath.