13 Sep 2011

Black paintings, 'Antumbra', Daniel Lergon, Galerie Christian Lethart, Koln, Germany

It's time to 'darken the glim' with the fascinating black paintings of Daniel Lergon, 'Antumbra'  at Gallerie Christian Lethart. These are reminiscent of the classic minimalist paintings of Frank Stella, Ad Reinhardt or Rauschenberg's painterly abstractions some 40 years ago now. However these have a slick contemporary feel to them, especially the yellow green paintings (see below) for more retrospective paintings click on Daniel Lergon link above.

Daniel Lergon 'Antumbra' oil on canvas, 2011
From the press release: 'For this year’s 'DC OPEN', the Galerie Christian Lethert is presenting a fourth solo exhibition of works by Daniel Lergon (born in 1978). Since beginning his studies at the Universität der Künste (UdK) in Berlin with Professor Lothar Baumgarten, in his painting, Daniel Lergon has been dealing with the correlative interplay between light and surface, and the optical effects and perceptions that result from this. Whereas in his early works, Lergon used color pigments within the range of the color spectrum, applying them to all kinds of transparent, reflecting, and absorptive material surfaces, he later also included colors at the very extremes of the spectrum into his work. His intensive study of the colors was thus always tied to the materiality of the painting’s ground and the question regarding this influence this would have on the viewer’s perception.

Since 2007, Lergon has been working without using color pigments directly, painting instead with colorless, clear lacquer on technical grounds. These initially grey, later white, retro reflexive materials behave unusually concerning how they reflect the light. By using them, Lergon creates a painting that dispenses with color pigments, and which essentially comes about in the special reflection of the light upon the varnish and painting’s ground.'

Daniel Lergon, 'cold fire', 2008, Aerea, Stockholm (not in the show)

'Antumbra'. Here, the theme of light has been linked to the notion of shadows. In his new, black works, instead of using bright, light, reflecting materials Lergon paints on a black ground, which, due to its consistency, reflects the light less intensively. The varyingly dense traces of the transparent painting lacquer yield extremely different intensities of darkness. Hence, the title of the exhibition, 'Antumbra' - a technical term that comes from astronomy and geometric optics and describes the area of a shining surface located behind the occluding shadow of an object.'


Kodanshi said...

The concept sounds incredible. I love the shock of the yellow works, but the black ones really made me sit up and take notice. I need to see these now!

David said...

yes, two contrasts black and lemon yellow, dark and light? How to paint in a shocking yet still reserved way? would love to see the show!..

Jeffrey Collins said...

Looking forward to seeing this gents work in person. I like the ideas of using new fabric technologies to his advantage. I just hope he's making sure to seal up the stretchers and to use Basswood to keep the resins from seeping into the canvas.