Infinity and proximity
Regarding the diversity and often difficult positions of contemporary art, the question is: “landscape painting – does it make any sense today?" Facing the endless possibilities of landscape painting, the answer can only be a "Yes!". The subject "landscape" is so diverse that there can always be added new points of view - as this catalogue shows. Landscapes are changing, nature becomes cultivated land, developed land, waste land - and often then renaturated land. Landscapes change - and also does the artistic interpretation. My creative work within this subject has many facets and reaches back into my art studies, passing through many formal transformations.
All of my landscape paintings are titled "abstract landscape" because they are not images created “out in the fields”, nor images taken from sketches or photographs. This works are free studio creations, all of them. The landscapes shown in this catalogue do not exist - but they could - and they remind us of what we have already discovered somewhere on our own journeys.
Light, color and space are the defining elements of my paintings, as is the play with horizon, perspective and vanishing point. In some of my works the onlooker’s point of view is transformed into a suspenseful, floating impassability / imponderability, which allows different types of reading.
The very beginning of the creation of a new painting sees spontaneous, gestural, "informal" and experimental outbreaks, performance-like color battles with wide brushes, scratchers, sponges. With many elaborate glazes, these "wild" structures are later reworked, softened, condensed, nuanced, stressed or pushed back, while gently guided into a compositional context. The chaos of the beginning becomes a cosmos of perfection, experiments grow into images - but not in a “realistic” way. Each of my works is a unique fictional creation - created in the tension of infinity (the ocean of possibilities) and proximity (the intimate act of art creation).
In view of landscapes, infinity and proximity also means: perception in close proximity to the smallest things, like small traces in the sand, color dust on the wings of a butterfly, and the simultaneous realization that all of this has its existence under the cover of space- and time-infinity. Infinity and proximity can often coincide in one point: a starry sky is reflected in a dew drop, for example. Working on a piece of art, a choice out of an infinity of possibilities is made, selected by the filter of skills and characterized by the spirit of age, the “zeitgeist”. This choice – while painting – solidifies into the finished piece of artwork, limited by time, space, material.
Hinrich JW Schüler, Düsseldorf, September 2017