Magnetic Fields, the title of Markus Sailes' exhibition, describes a phenomenon from the world of physics and is at the same time a metaphor. The artist refers to the forces of attraction and repulsion ›within‹ his images and ,between the works in the surrounding space. To address this, Saile experimented with magnetic foil - an industrial-grade material rarely utilised in painterly practice. He applies the paint directly to this substrate, which already has a kind of white primer due to its coating. The formats he uses are often small, sometimes almost square, at times oblong but never standard painterly proportions. As a yardstick for the large-format works, the artist draws on references to the human body and to space, such as the span of the arms or the breadth of the field of vision.
Subsequently, the paint is superimposed in several layers on the primed surface, without any preliminary
sketches. By way of preparation, Saile mixes various precisely matched oil paints on his palette with turpentine - or rather he mixes turpentine with a little oil paint. The strongly diluted paint, which is applied as thin glazed layers, creates iridescent colour gradients, delicate traces, fleeting streaks and ephemeral, transparent cloudy veils. The brushstroke is not just a fluid trace, a temporal imprint, but becomes a protagonist in the image as a reflected gesture, its movement adding a compelling spatial dimension.
Ulrike Groos: Magnetic Fields, in: 25 years STRABAG Artaward: art price for painting and drawing, hg. Von STRABAG SE, STRABAG Kunstforum Wien, Klagenfurt: Ritter Verlag 2020, p.364