Hus Gallery is delighted to announce "Predator", a solo presentation of painted works by German artist Gregor Gleiwitz. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
The title of the show is taken from the 1987 science fiction action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in which an elite special forces team on a rescue mission are stalked and hunted by an invisible, highly intelligent extraterrestrial life-form known as the “Predator”. Like the creature in the film, Gleiwitz creates works which hover somewhere between the familiar and the foreign, almost recognisable and yet somehow just beyond the realm of reality. The use of multiple, broken perspectives in his large-scale oil paintings allow for these temporary moments of recognitory understanding to occur; depending on the point of view, certain areas of the composition take on the appearance of familiar figures or objects. Consequently, his works invite prolonged observation, as new arrangements become visible with extended reflection. “My art is neither abstract nor figurative but a portrayal of the world whereby the onlooker must seek out a new vocabulary to respond to what is being viewed.”
Gleiwitz’s paintings are concerned with the beginning of images. Starting from a position of abstraction, his carefully concentrated brushstrokes hint at the moment when lines become distinguishable forms, without ever fully giving into figuration. Gleiwitz defies rules and finality, gently cultivating the chaos into potential, yet leaving the questions open-ended. Characterised by large, swirling brushstrokes that overlap with one another and move organically across the canvas, Gleiwitz’s compositions are complex and tangled, offering the viewer frustrated, interrupted views. Accumulated and learned recognition is therefore crucial to the understanding and appreciation of these paintings, because although predominately non-representational, each work is imbued with figurative elements that can be coaxed out through individual interpretation.
Although all of the works included in the exhibition were made during the same period, and bear similarities to a formal “series”, each one of Gleiwitz’s paintings is designed to stand as its own discrete identity. The titles of his works reinforce this desire for individuality, as each painting is named by the date, month, and year in which it was created. It can take upwards of two weeks to prepare each canvas, and yet the actual painting is completed in a single continuous session; the interplay of paint, brush, and figurative association is fluid, and the development of the painting’s interior monologue must remain uninterrupted. The arrangement of the different compositional elements – gestural marks, rigid crystalline forms, and sharply tailored peaks – have a strong sculptural element to them as Gleiwitz pushes them around the canvas using a combination of wet and dry paint brushes, which work in opposition to one another, as if moving furniture around a room.
With a seemingly effortless handling of highly complex layering techniques, Gleiwitz incorporates depth through a considered application; not the physical three dimensionality of reworked impasto through aggressive brushstrokes, but rather the perfectly striated tendons of a paint brush used to both add and remove the painted gesture. The incredible interplay of positive and negative marks makes for very dramatic viewing. Applied on a meticulously sanded and polished canvas, the compositional fragments of figures and landscapes convey an identifiable lexicon, yet his clean articulation escapes literal representation.
Gregor Gleiwitz (b. 1977) lives and works in Berlin and received his MA from the Kunstakademie Münster under Mechtild Frisch. Recent exhibitions include "Earthly Spheres", a solo exhibition with Setareh Gallery in Dusseldorf. Forthcoming exhibitions include a group exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany.