Friday, February 14, 2014

Andy Denzler at Claire Oliver

I've been obsessed with Andy Denzler for a long time and finally had the opportunity to see the Swiss artist's glitch paintings in the flesh at Claire Oliver in Chelsea.

Some words about Denzler's method, from D. Dominick Lombardi on Artslant:
Working in stages, Denzler first marks off an outline of his subject with sketchy brush strokes, which he then overpaints with a rather straightforward depiction of same. The third layer is a thick impasto that directly relates to the under-painting both in placement and color. It is in this final "fat" layer of paint that one can see the artist’s individual color selections, which are quite informative. His flesh tones in particular are numerous and variously warm and cool. His style shares something with pointillism or impressionism insofar as Denzler’s colors are more or less separate, even though there is some inevitable mixing that naturally occurs during the application. 
The painted surface of each canvas varies. Some are so thin that the texture of the canvas is visible; others are as thick as icing on cake. In certain areas of the more thickly applied paint the artist makes a smearing blend in a vertical motion. After the uneven, uppermost surface blends are completed, Denzler takes great risk by making deliberate and invasive sweeps across the painted surface from side to side leaving only a few select bands untouched. In the end, the artist is left with an "out-of-focus" Gerhard Richter's Baader Meinhof-esque painting—if you look past the untouched bands. Finally, Denzler goes back in with paint – or works with what remains still on the canvas – to clarify salient features in the figures.
Even though glitch art has its roots in corrupted digital imagery, I was surprised by Denzler's lush, voluptuous textures which are not quite evident in online photos. Denzler's works definitely come from the painterly traditions of abstract expressionism even though his references appear to be photographs or video stills.

There is a palpable feeling of voyeurism and decay in his work, as well as an exhilirating visual tension from the rhythmic bands of blurred and pixelated passages. By obscuring his subjects in this manner Denzler somehow manages to make them seem more real. Indeed, breathtakingly alive. I have much to learn from this artist.

Andy Denzler: Between the Fragments will be on view until tomorrow, February 15, 2014.

Ophelia V
Oil on Canvas
47.2 x 55.1 inches | 120 x 140 cm

The Observer
Oil on Canvas
31.5 x 27.5 inches | 80 x 70 cm

Haunted Garden II
Oil on Canvas
70.9 x 59.1 inches | 180 x 150 cm

Grape Eater
Oil on Canvas
31.5 x 27.5 inches | 80 x 70 cm

Cora II
Oil on Canvas
31.5 x 27.5 inches | 80 x 70 cm

Ghost in Me
Oil on Canvas
31.5 x 27.6 inches | 80 x 70 cm

For more images, click here.

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