Harm Gerdes paintings are abstract studies of color, composition and materiality. Viewed from a distance or digitally, they appear almost like exports from the latest, super high bit video games. Upon closer view, we see both the artist’s hand as well as the unpredictable spontaneity of the materials Gerdes employs. In his work, the contemporary hyper-real digital realm we all inhabit becomes real, tangible and tactile.
The artist creates novel painterly translations of chosen motifs through an intensive examination of composition, colour and form. The colour palette is a mix of subdued, elegant hues with a formal emphasis on a haptic, three dimensional look.
Often, soft shapes are renderend in rich nuances of greyish hues alternating with abstract, cubist-like fields painted in more luminous shades of colour. These objects render an attractive, shimmering materiality and – with their large scale – renegotiate the relation between the viewer and the pictorial object, separating function from form.
The shaded backdrops support the intensitiy of the works and reinforce the focus on the characteristics als well as the possible connotations of each subject. The depictions awaken associations of a realm beyond the real and intrigue the viewer to juxtapose the seemingly familiar with traces of phantasy and the uncanny.
Harm Gerdes // Staying with the Trouble // Peres Projects Gallery // Berlin, Germany // On view through 08 October 2021
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