Currently showing BERND MECHLER – COLOURlust
Thursday May 18th 2017
Bernd Mechler is known for his abstract, potent color plays of monumental size. From early on he had little interest in the representation of reality. At college he was encouraged to explore his own subjective impressions of reality through painting.
This is painting about painting in the tradition of Gerhard Richter ‘s grey paintings and the white paintings by Robert Ryman. Mechler almost empties out the canvas of any objects in order to focus entirely on what he describes as a psychological confrontation with painting. Much of what feeds his work is extracted from life around him, be it a social event, his teaching, visiting an exhibition or simply taking a walk. His work is spontaneous and relies on the energy of his senses, emotions, intuition and thoughts as well as his perception of the world around him, all of which filters into his compositions.
Surfaces are energized by planes of intense colour, linear structures and the motions of the horizontal dragging of a brush. Color layering has a major role in Mechler’s work. It can appear in quiet tones of white or black, as atmospheric colouring (pale greens and peaches and violets), or as he describes “slightly irritated tones of pink, red, and magenta”. His alternation of bright and dark colours and the organisation of them in ‘construction of bands’ or ‘cuts’ and ‘breaks in levels’, create an illusion of depth. All these factors begin a dialogue and overlap and lead to new dialogues and trajectories. He sees space and form created over and over in a multitude of formats during daily life. These might be memories or flashes of inspiration or indeed fragments from small oil sketches that lie around his studio.
Mechler studied at the prestigious Kunstakademie of Dusseldorf. He currently teaches at various universities including Münster, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, and Siegen. His exhibition programme is international having exhibited across Germany, Los Angeles, Brussels, Florence, Basel, Zurich and Prague.