About the exhibition
There is a certain humor in Sebastian Koch’s definition of the line in his paintings. The line is disturbing the surface, it creates a dialogue between the surface of the canvas and the line and is also creating space in the painting. He is drawing the line until the associative potential is taking over the surface and is creating some references ‘outside’ of the canvas. Lines are somehow becoming signs which we cannot read literally as something known or concrete. But we are getting into some idea of these forms even if they remain enigmatic at all. On the other hand Koch is guiding our attention to the painting as a construction of material when he is using a certain framing that gives us the possibility of examining the edges of the canvas. This framing is a reference to the painting of the 50s when painting was facing this major theoretical problem: Is painting a field of projections of the outside world or is it just a construction of material? Koch is playing with both approaches discussing them with a humorous notification that signs and meaning will always remain uncertain or in some way unclear.
In his works, Sebastian Koch does not apply a reductionist approach, abstracting certain forms from a given reference model. His works do not represent the painstaking reproduction of a model, be it in nature or in art. Nor are they the result of a constant testing of the artistic medium for the sake of it. For Koch, everything is material and as a result his approach is rather playful. However, he does not differentiate between artistic material, conceptual material and the actual material with which the paintings (and modern sculpture) are created, namely paint, wood, frame, canvas etc. Of course it goes without saying that he is in a constant dialogue with art. For as soon as he makes even the slightest intrusion into the painting medium, the game begins and with it the burden of representation. Painting and the discourse thereof has developed enough since the beginning of the 20th century to be ripe with subjects for discussion. Koch’s palpable thirst for this debate, which goes far beyond art is also reflected in title of this exhibition.
Text: Harald Krejci
„I process memories and emotions in my paintings. Internalised nostalgia.“Sebastian Koch