This weeks Modern Painters blog post if brought to you by the artist Detlef E. Aderhold. Enjoy!
If affective states can be said to be the unifying conceptual principle in Aderhold’s practice then the stain is the formal element that sutures these seen and felt encounter. These stains, amorphous bodies, are of- ten made with coffee, or heavily thinned paint. Whatever we might read into these works, whether repre- sentational or wholly non objective ( and despite first glances, this is rare in Aderhold’s work) a sense of the psyche always seem to bubbles up through their surfaces. The psyche, the internal drama played out against diffuse rituals, becomes manifest in Aderhold’s work, it seems, not as a precondition but rather, as a series of connections and resonances that emerge out of their production. Aderhold shows us that painting-one among many of such “diffuse rituals” — is still a locale, a theatre, in which surprise, pain and delight can occur.
— Eric Sutphin, critic and curator, 2014
Aderhold’s work seeks an encounter that is based on visceral and sensitive understanding — preceding judgment and preconceptions. This well-orchestrated visual chaos, of seemingly no end or real beginning except from the boundaries of the canvas, can be understood as a metonym for what Adernold’s work touches upon — affects — and is further emphasized by the work’s title. Null Komma Null (2011) trans- lates as “zero point zero” and emphasizes Adehrold’s conscious decision to deprive his viewers of any linguistic and therefore logical or intellectual point of reference.
— Sabrina Mandanici. writer, 2014
While creating these paintings, two processes are particularly important to me. On the one hand, there is the rapid, dynamic, and expressive part characterized by a largely unrestrained and spontaneous handling of paint and canvas. After preparing the ground of the painting with coffee or water,, the colors selected beforehand are dripped, flung, and scattered wet-on-wet across the canvas. This action-based element develops on the basis of preliminary plans and mental images recorded in sketches. These form a rough framework, an idea, that is to be realized. I often incorporate impressions, or frottage drawings directly on to the canvas. These drawn elements are made with everyday objects – bicycle chains, shards of glass, Lego pieces, or model-train tracks – or natural materials – sand, pine needles, and stones – fur- ther develop the composition. I lay these on the wet ground (coffee, etc.) of the canvas before introducing the selected colors.. These objects and materials leave their trace or impression in the wet ground and sometimes yield additional structures that I can work from.
The results of the initial process are taken up and further developed. This phase is more contem- plative and calm. Here, I try to immerse myself in the painting, to open myself to the painting, pulling out small details that reveal themselves through my contemplation of the surface. What is important to me is spontaneity and the question of how structures form. Ideally, the paintings are a site of discovery for both myself and the viewer .
Detlef E. Aderhold, January 2014
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