As with his figurative paintings, Dirk Skreber's abstract work explores the formal tensions between subject and material. Incorporating the unrest of his pictorial work but reducing the tension to a purely formal level, in the present work, Skreber exploits the rough material of the board, exposing the essence of the picture plane, nails and all, as a purely constructed surface. The rigidly painted and taped lines subvert the stability of the grid-like composition, creating an optical effect of corrugated disorientation.
Carving lines through his built-up foam veneer, Tessa-Moll Seele reveals a couple locked in an embrace - a provocative image yet one estranged from emotive connotation as we look on voyeuristically through the foam ‘slats’ of the composition. Floating between the foreground and the background, it is as though the image of the couple is suspended in space as Skreber tackles the conflict between presence and absence. Referring to the voyeuristic act of looking and evoking the low quality transmission of CCTV footage, Skreber distances the viewer from the intimate scene which instead seduces us via the materials of its making. With its unequivocally original use of mixed media and fusion of art-craft techniques, Tessa-Moll Seele blurs the boundaries between sculpture and painting, flatness and perceived space, and is less a painting than a falsified architectural form.
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