NOBLE FAILURE
Josef Schwaiger

OPENING on monday, 14th of september, 9 pm

Introduction by Günther Holler-Schuster, the artist is present.

DURATION: 15 th of september – 3rd of october 2015.

 Josef Schwaiger’s art takes place in the context of painting. So why not simply say that his art is painting?

The stereotypical images which we associate with painting today are far too well established. They remain backward-looking. Hence even today, with few exceptions, they still start and end up as colour slides before being placed on some wall or other. Abstract painting? Representational painting? In truth, the distinction hasn’t really mattered for a long time. Ultimately, today’s art has less to do with representation than it does with presentation. Neither is the function of the visual image taken into consideration in Schwaiger’s paintings. At the moment, painting does not serve as an instrument of illustration. Instead, it represents its own reality.

In this context, the oldest and probably most prominent visual medium is examined in relation to its actual existence. Which processes and what kind of material handling or presentations, etc., does this entail? The process of painting, a performative work process as it were yet at the same time a completely pragmatic one, is crucial in Schwaiger’s approach to painting. He analyses the medium with a deconstructive intention. Schwaiger proceeds from the material and ends up with the physical exertion of the artist and the viewing public. The latter is invited to participate in the creative act through his behaviour – it has no other option.

The concept Schwaiger uses is understandable, has certain rules and is based on experimental procedures. It harbours no secrets. The artist provides us with aspects of the physics of colour and related procedures just like an instruction manual. If one can actually speak of abstract images at all, they are ultimately the results of such experimental procedures. As a painter, therefore, Schwaiger is extremely topical and tries to give the medium a fresh impetus without abandoning it entirely.

The context of painting has broadened significantly over recent decades. Different developments in the visual media, on the one hand, and priorities in the field of art in general, such as the forcing of the performative and the participation of the viewing public, etc., have also ushered in changes and, in part, a paradigm shift in relation to painting. Josef Schwaiger’s approach to painting takes all this into account to a considerable degree.

Günther Holler-Schuster