Magazine article Artforum International

Stefan Gritsch

Magazine article Artforum International

Stefan Gritsch

Article excerpt

GALERIE FRIEDRICH

A broad, loosely constructed platform of raw lattice and boards stands chest high at the entrance to the gallery. On it are grouped many hand-sized pigment-objects--layered polychrome cloth rectangles; squares poured in strict geometric layers; massive shards of color attached with paint to small cumbersome lump-complexes--and seeing them at this angle affords a distanced overview of them without diminishing the sense of their physical presence. As one's gaze moves along the lined-up or overlapping elements, it becomes increasingly clear that this large untitled installation, 1999, serves one purpose--that of exposing colored bodies to the gaze and touch.

Stefan Gritsch goes beyond using paint to cover a surface. He sees it as a form of matter, one that he has been subjecting to unusual procedures for years now. In most painting, acrylic obeys a tendency to spread, but in Gritsch's hands it solidifies into pigment-dreams. He pours various colors into wooden molds and leaves them to dry over a period of weeks into solid cubical forms. He repeatedly dips balls of paint until they patchily grow into clumps. He rolls out table-sized fields of acrylic in order to achieve pure skins of color, only to tear them to shreds and roll them into rods, fold them, and press them. …

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