Fifty years after “Stepping out of the Picture”, a young generation of artists is attempting re-entry. With his current work, Malwin Faber, born in 1990, presents us with his intensive research series on abstract painting and pictorial space.
Faber creates complex synergies from gestural traces, sharp-edged cut-outs, lines and material textures. The abundance of different interwoven colours and shapes initially appears as a Gordian knot, demanding the full attention of the beholder. Faber focuses on presenting a fascinating interplay of seemingly contradictory images and outwardly contrasting prominences: the small-scale with the extensive, geometric elements contrasted with sweeping indexical signs, convergence with centrifugal force. Most striking is the simultaneity of speed and tranquillity, of coincidence and precision. The picture’s gradual composition resembles a jazz improvisation; it is a blend of freedom and discipline with alternating rhythms.
Both Faber’s large-format canvases and his collages on paper come to life through an inventive technique of layering and overlay. Distinct areas are often covered with masking tape, later removed once new colours and shapes have been added. The effect, as with his use of stencils and spray paint, is a confusion in how the work’s spatial composition is perceived. Background appears central, the positive emerges from the negative and even a previous past forces itself into the present. With this kind of anti-composition, Faber breaks up the space-time continuum of traditional image perception. His system of intersecting plane-parallel levels reveals a surprising variety of spaces and, at the same time, it dissolves the familiar perspective relationship between unidimensional objects and lends them the impression of depth.
Although the abstract pictures continue to give the impression of illusionary space, it is obvious that, for Faber, it is not about drafting a picture from the (painter’s) body but from free space, de profundis. These depths are not a natural given, but are instead composed. Max Raphael described this phenomenon in George Braque thus, “When one starts from the body, spatial composition is the attempt to move from the finite to the infinite. As soon as one begins with the space itself, […] spatial composition becomes the attempt to progress from the infinite to the finite.” Free space is therefore an artistic compound and a re-creation of the present. If the central perspective defines space as something permanent and unmoved, the new discontinuity of the spatial structure creates a detachment from the immovable. Space is captured here as dynamic and malleable.
Noteworthy in this context is the informal painting gesture, which is becoming increasingly present in Faber’s new pictures. The creative process - comprising development, persona and movement - are all made visible by his own artistic force and identity. Every picture is a completely new venture into the possibilities of painting.
Source: Malwin Faber. Zwischenräume | exhibition catalog, curator: Dagmar Lott-Reschke, publisher: Kunstforum Markert Gruppe, 2017