DAG

Current exhibition: Against Nature. Group show for focusonabstraction, April 30th — May 5th. Pavillion am Milchhof, Schwedter Str. 232, 10435 Berlin. View details

Necessary clouds

If painting wants to go beyond the superficiality of things, the present must be blurred and the distinction must be swallowed up by the undifferentiated. One will never be able to say about such painting: "It is about" or "it shows this and that". Because this painting gives preference to the unknown, values activity higher than existence. By leaving things behind, it affords access to a world without objects. This art of painting pleasurably counteracts the can shelf of preserved art historical references and popist “keep smiling”, from which every uniqueness has disappeared, with pictorial interference.

In rejection of all tricks and dedication to highest directness, DAG's painting is radical. It has emerged from the infinite action of filling the emptiness of mere canvases, sometimes discreetly, sometimes provocatively, with many small and large agitations. They are coded as lines, circles, triangles, spirals, which are applied to primed and polished canvases, wooden panels or walls with a selected spectrum of acrylic paints. The eye will never discover an Orange here. Layer by layer reality evaporates into ciphers, are reworked and reopened, staggered and erased again. In the depths and heights, cracks and edges arise alterable phenomena. Where hiding and unhiding go hand in hand and alternate according to the model of the great process of existence.

Technical sensation is contrary to DAG. The alchemy of his work consists neither in the refinement, sophistication, and exaltedness of his technique nor in minimal asceticism. Random, absurd and unimportant is a priority. Again and again, he enters the arena of the never-ending action of the artistic creative process. Here, repeatable grid structures, standardized color values or the use of geometric basic elements are combined with snapped-up words, the fleeting nature of music, the quality of random phenomena of everyday life. It is not the logical expressiveness that is the goal of DAG's painting – it is the catenation of operations into a constantly continuing event.

DAG's paintings are created in series. In his latest works, lines are staggered on a dark background, crossing, overlapping, superimposing, forming alliances and dissonances, luring the viewer's eyes to explore their own lights and shadows. They could be anything: a little bit of object, a little bit of hunch, ghosts, niches, traces, necessary clouds: "Subversion must create its own chiaroscuro," writes Roland Barthes (The Pleasure of the Text, 1973).

But perhaps the attentive walk through the painter's studio shows that there is still a matter of seeing that is not exhausted in changing spectacles. Because what becomes visible here is always more than what we really see and what a canon of perception allows us to see.