Galerie Kornfeld is pleased to present a duo exhibition featuring abstract oil paintings by Austrian artist Hubert Scheibl alongside photographs by Berlin-based Georgian artist David Meskhi for Berlin Art Week.
Within the works of both artists the viewer is entering into a representation of reality in which boundaries of time are blurred and the subjects of the works are roaming free within indefinable spaces. Temporal concepts of beginnings and ends are broken down as the layers of Scheibl's work give room to actions of the past and present within the fabric of the paint itself and the hand of the artist at play. Similarly images of gymnasts floating impossibly in Soviet gymnasiums within Meskhi's photographs could have been taken generations before, however the ephemerality of his subject matter disturbs the context of time all together. For both Scheibl and Meskhi, the subject matter is often frozen between action and reaction, ignorant for that moment of its movement through the passage of time, providing an evocative melding of past and present and a sense of the fragility of memory. Movement plays a central role as Meskhi's subjects are swimming in space and Scheibl's brushstrokes create deliberate gestural-abstractions of motion.
Scheibl devotes himself to the pure essence of abstraction, without invoking any theoretical predecessors. Free from intellectual baggage, his compositions concentrate on the question of what is the pure, true nature of the objects he depicts. Floating in dematerialized backgrounds, the objects transport the viewer into cosmic spaces that suggest the possibility of another, intangible actuality. By means of cuts and fissures, which the artist draws into the still fresh paint, he partially exposes hidden layers of paint, hinting at spaces beyond the surface, penetrated by luscious light. This layering of spaces, which seem to emanate from separate universes, opens our view to a different reality.
As one regards Meskhi's works, they are presented with both an autobiographical visual diary as much as a social documentary, never certain if the artist is a mere third-party voyeur or apart of the scenes he is capturing. His childhood memories were shaped by sports—the gyms, athletic competitions, and training camps his father repeatedly took him to as a child and teenager. Hailing from a dynasty of successful youth sport coaches, he grew up in an atmosphere of ambition, sportsmanship and the pressure to perform. Refusing to obey the principles of gravity, his young athletes float in front of abstract coloured surfaces unconstrained by the laws of physics. It is only through our schematizing gaze that the backgrounds change into colourful gym floors otherwise defined by the bodies of the gymnasts and the glistening sunlight drawing shady patterns on the hall floor.
Using figurative elements, David Meshki opens up an access to abstraction, which continues in Hubert Scheibl’s paintings and, through his understanding of space and time, leads to an expanded conception of reality. By utilizing abstraction as a means to remove the layers of reality surrounding us, both artists arrive at the purest essence of the present.
Hubert Scheibl (*1952, Gmunden) studied with Max Weiler and Arnulf Rainer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1988 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. His works are shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at the Kunsthalle Wien and the Albertina Wien. In autumn 2019, his works will be exhibited at the Parkview Museum in Beijing. Other notable solo and group shows include the Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, the Kunsthalle, Vienna, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, also in Vienna. His works can be found in many important collections, such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, the Albertina, Vienna, and the Collection of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Hubert Scheibl currently lives and works in Vienna.
David Meskhi (1979, Tbilisi) completed his photography degree at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University in Tbilisi in 2005. Early in his career he worked as a photographer for the main Georgian cultural magazines and his artworks were presented in the collection of the Georgian House of photography. After his first Solo show which consisted of analog photographs of skaters and Athletes, taken in his native country he co-directed an award winning documentary-When the Earth Seems to be Light, which is based on his photographs. His works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, the Braunsfelder Family Collection in Cologne, the Calvert 22 Foundation in London, the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre in Budapest and the Kunstverein Freiburg in Germany. David Meskhi currently lives and works in Berlin.