"Kairos. Der richtige Moment" and "Timelink"
4 — 21 September, 2019
at Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien (Vienna, Austria)
Of all the paintings that have sincerely moved me, I cannot remember one that I did not penetrate completely with my imagination. That precisely is my gift: the ability to project myself into an artist of another period, to feel my way into his or her life and art until new paintings in his or her hand emerge spontaneously from my own. It’s a gift that has brought me a lot of happiness in my life – and, as everyone knows, some trouble as well.
When the work of another artist fascinates me, my reaction is not simply one of aesthetic pleasure or interest; I am magically attracted to the time in which the artist worked, quite literally drawn in by it. With this as my starting point, I set out to paint important works that might very well have been painted but simply never were – works that, one might say, are missing from the œuvre of the relevant artist – and over the decades I developed an expertise that even the experts could not gainsay. Today, I have another way of using my gift in my artistic work. To conceptualize it, I would have to go into detail about painting, art history, acting and literature. Ultimately, the term that perhaps best approximates what I do is Free Method Painting.
But does one need a concept?
Some of my work can be seen in the exhibition "Kairos – The Right Moment." The conversations that set the exhibition in motion began around the turn of the year 2015–2016. Initial talk was of a combined photography-and-painting exhibition, a commercial idea by Munich entrepreneur Christian Zott which eventually gave rise to this exhibition series. A more profound idea began to develop already in our first meetings. Our knowledge of European art and culture and my experience as a painter allowed us to go beyond Mauro Fiorese’s original photo series
Treasure Rooms, which was limited to Italian museums only, and expand our horizon to encompass the great museums of Europe. I would connect the dots between my “unpainted paintings” and various artists exhibited in these museums. This in turn would reveal the links between my paintings and Mauro’s photographs.
With the help of my wife, the team of young researchers at Zott Artspace and Christian Zott, we carried out our task. The project became a journey through the art history and the contemporary history of our European continent. Together we devised motifs, discussed them, rejected them, developed, modified and improved them, until finally I realized a few of these ideas in paintings that combine to tell a grand narrative.
While we were still preparing the exhibition, Mauro Fiorese died of an incurable illness. We deeply regret his premature death. With the benefit of his experience and sense of humor, "Kairos – The Right Moment" might have taken another direction. His assistant, Valentina Zamboni, completed this, his last work.
What matters to me most about our project is the human side. Who were these people the paintings tell us about? What was their significance? How were the events taking place around them significant? What influence did these people or certain developments during their lifetimes have, and how do we feel their influence in society today? The spiritual and artistic development of our continent has fused us, across national borders, into a multiethnic unit, and the present moment is calling on us to show our unity.
The ten newly created paintings on display here act like time links or portals, taking up certain themes from Kairos – The Right Moment and carrying them beyond their historical origins into other periods, including our own.
I’m not a fan of complicated texts; I tell my stories in pictures. Words may explain what a picture represents, but they have little effect on what happens when the picture passes through the eyes into the nervous system and triggers something in the viewer’s spirit.
Any viewer searching for my “personal style,” however, must be disappointed. Recognition should apply only to the self. That is to say, the viewer should recognize his or her own relation to the world and world events, and nothing more.
WATCH THE TRAILER
WITH WOLFGANG BELTRACCHI
Under the title "KAIROS. The Right Moment," the captivating collection of paintings and photographs will be on display from 4-21 September, 2019, at Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien (Vienna, Austria).
The exhibition has already been a great success in Venice and Hamburg.