Jakob Gasteiger, 6/25/2021
Jakob Gasteiger / Otto Zitko
Sep 18 – Oct 31, 2021
Galerie Gölles
Fürstenfeld, Austria

In the exhibition, Gasteiger’s pure material color as the object of the image creation and a step into the three-dimensional image-sculpture, meets the unleashed elemental force of Zitko, which is seldom limited to the pure picture surface and often covers the entire exhibition space with its unconditional trace.

Jakob Gasteiger is considered a representative of analytical painting. In his works, he questions parameters of painting and thematizes, expands and breaks through the boundaries of graphics, painting and sculpture.The most extensive and at the same time best-known group of the artist’s works are his mostly monochrome paintings with relief-like structures, which are formed by the use of a comb spatula when applying the paint to the picture’s background. Within this working process, color is not used by Gasteiger as a carrier of content or meaning, but as a material per se. The comb spatula is Gasteiger’s tool. It replaces the brush and makes it possible to work without personal handwriting in the sense of a mechanical process.

When Otto Zitko stopped painting at the end of the 1980s, this did not have the character of a manifesto – according to the motto “painting is dead for me, too”; it did not mean turning away from painting and seemingly overcoming it, but rather in this decision, paradoxically, the self-critically purified reason to be able to continue painting only in this way: namely, in the pursuit of the line. The artist was not concerned with a graphism as a fundamentalist ideology after all painting, but Zitko uses the long path of the line (title of a drawing from 1987) to leave a trace before all painting. He put his priority in drawing, which is for him the current form of painting, in the flowing continuous line, but excludes thereby to give a final rejection to conventional painting.

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