Wabel In My Walk
In “Wabel In My Walk,” his latest exhibition at dépendance, Thilo Heinzmann revisits a material he deployed in an earlier body of work: Styrofoam. With characteristic inquisitiveness, Heinzmann uses these careful arrangements of Styrofoam and colored glass to simultaneously vehicularize tactility and field-depth. Sheathed behind plexi glass as a means of protecting the momentum that literally arises from these paintings, their presentation is further enshrined in a compelling gesture that enunciates both the work’s delicacy and its monumentality. Heinzmann builds on his earlier oeuvre with the addition of asymmetric covers, which imbues these paintings with a velocity and finesse that effectively expands their presence in the space.
As we absorb the completed process in these works, a strange thing occurs. Painting seems to morph into sculpture – or, better: sculpturality – in a process that seems as natural and unforced as evolution itself. Dimensional awareness becomes freed from the confines of the space-time continuum – from both its illusionistic, two- dimensional, painterly limits and its three-dimensional, sculptural prowess – and returned to the Edenic realm of the multiple, the implicative: that slippery slope off of which meaning, as it is consensually constituted, slides. In short, painting – as a medium, as a language – seeks to renew itself through this process.
While studying these paintings, there is the temptation to transform these eruptions, these manifestations of pure substance, into representative forms in our minds. A chiseled edge of Styrofoam becomes icicular, a sutured glacier on the edge of demise, the coldness of an arctic expressionism inferring ecological devolution. Yes, it is easy to infer a landscapization when we zero-in on these abstractions, but this reveals the true intensity of their ambition, which is to over-write nature.
That the artist views painting as a sort of open-ended, ever-evolving language becomes further apparent when considering the neologistic title of the exhibition, with its willful ambiguities, as well as the artist’s choice to leave his paintings untitled, allowing them to literally speak for themselves. Here, the rigor of investigation into the nature of material substance is rescued from the realm of the cerebral, laying the roots for a joyous proto-universalism unafraid of embracing both beauty and reverberance.