FIXING THE TENT is Felix Baudenbacher’s new body of work – his first show since moving from London to Los Angeles 3 years ago.
Marked by a newly found economy of means, these drawings and paintings first took shape in the silence of a period of self-imposed, inner isolation and renewal.
Far removed from ideas of depiction, the small still life drawings are attempts at investigating the fabric of the phenomenal world we so unquestioningly accept as reality by means of long, meditation-like observation. To draw from life, for Felix, is to try to understand life – no looking is more scrutinizing and penetrating than looking directly recorded by the pencil, ideally avoiding the distorting filter of intellectual ‘knowledge’ about what is looked at. That, then, is all these modest, yet disarmingly honest drawings are: records of intense visual investigations.
The large drawings are developed from the small ones – the reference to the phenomenal world gone, these pieces are built on the reality of the line itself. What was a record of seeing, a trace of something else than itself, as it were, now assumes its own identity and becomes intention manifested. In a process that contains both elements of automatic drawing, as well as very careful and sophisticated image manipulation in response to what is there, Felix arrives at a highly individual language fuelled by the opposition between the absolute clarity of the single line and the ambivalence of a visual space created by the intersection and layering of these lines.
Although more severely structured, the paintings are born from the large drawings and deal with similar concerns – the single rectangle works in much the same way as the single line, while the space created by 400 rectangles of differing color and value is invigorated by that same tension between the single unit, unmistakably clear in its function and the instability of its seemingly random multiplication. As for the colors, each painting was conceived in a specific moment of California light.
The show also features work by the artist’s mother, Regula Baudenbacher.
Official Website: http://www.foundla.com/sys/shows/fixing-the-tent/
Added by Found Gallery on November 26, 2007