Beauty takes care of its own
The Heinrich Ehrhardt Gallery presents Beauty takes care of its own, a show dedicated to painting and the broad course it is setting for the future, and which constitutes Thilo Heinzmann’s sixth individual exhibition in Madrid.
If Heinzmann’s work has progressively taken on different forms in each period, on this occasion the pigments on canvas and the nail polish on styrofoam make up a pictorial discourse which wanders from the fluid to the sculptural; from the fleeting to the static. While both mediums, pigment and styrofoam, have been fundamental to his way of conceiving his work, and have marked a dynamic in his painting, now the artist revisits them to reanalyse their formal purity by acting directly on the surface.
Heinzmann’s pictorial process creates a formal plane which is simultaneously tactile and visual, sculptural and pictorial. The artist operates using clinical methods so that the pigment on canvas, which is normally deposited on the surface to then be spread over it in the form of nebulous constellations or star dust, now appears, in some of the paintings, as acted upon through his own hand, dragging the pigment over the still damp oil in a movement which mixes the subtle with the sudden. The dragged paint here looks like both a slap and a caress.
Meanwhile, on the frozen and sharpened forms of the styrofoam, on the cut sections of this nuclear material, Heinzmann splatters nail polish. Depending on its intensity and the location in which it is deposited, whether on the underlying wood, painted with a coat of white paint which allows one to make out the grain of the wood, or on the different surfaces of the styrofoam, on its smooth exterior or rough interior, the varnish bleeds in and corrodes. On the wood, the polish develops into a sort of dripping, and on the styrofoam it sinks in like a wound, once again modifying the sharpened edge and the smooth surface.
In all of Thilo Heinzmann’s work, but especially now, in the meeting of two different formulas, it is possible to observe extremely eloquently that the material is the medium and the medium is the work in itself. Painting is its own medium, the support is the surface and the background is pure form. There is no possible division between the visual and the conceptual. The sensorial covers, like an insurmountable mantle, any physical and intellectual perception of these pieces. The act of looking translates into the illusion of touching. The hand that sees and the eye that touches.
These works are intuitive and contemplative, agile and immutable. As if they were icebergs, the styrofoam cuts seem to delve into the immense profundity until sinking into an inscrutable depth. Here, the two overlapping surfaces, the organic nature of the grain of the painted wood, and the cutting roughness of the styrofoam, constitute, in their meeting, a most beautiful deployment of differing natures. The pigments, amplified and resonant, centrifugal and centripetal, are volatile ecstasies which undertake a direct experimentation into the inherent questions of painting.
Asked about Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock put particular emphasis on the unique and fundamental cymbal crash on the track called So What in order to explain what for him jazz was all about. A master stroke which did not just constitute the point of departure for the melody to follow, which was set in motion by the trumpet of Miles Davis, but which was also the beginning, and almost the conclusion, of the whole of jazz history, before and after, concentrated in the resonance of that gesture, of that amplified sound which progressively captured and reverberated in each of the chinks and notes of jazz music. That same resonance captured in a calculated explosion is what we now find in this show by Thilo Heinzmann. A crash of pigment suspended in the air, paralysed in the moment in which it resounds, retains, splashes and brings together all of the rest of the exhibition.