The works of the Austrian artist Florian Schmidt (b. 1980) vary between painting and sculpture. Their ambiguity results from a specific view of painting which is not defined by its being a picture, but by appearing as a material surface, a relief. In a sculptural approach, wood, cardboard, metal scraps, even parts of disassembled works of the artist are recombined and related to one another in a way that is neither purely painterly nor sculptural. The layering of his constructions which results from this processuality may be considered from a formal as well as a historical perspective. Aside from documenting the artist’s own working process, they also address the history of painting by playfully engaging different formal vocabularies from the Russian Avant-garde up to Minimal Art. The works quote the idea of monochromy as that endpoint of representation which reduces the painting to its material surface, while—being made of recycled material—they also emphasize the analogy between painting and the readymade. Even basic characteristics of the medium like the picture plane or frame are subtly undermined in Florian Schmidt’s works in which the inner and outer form keep blending into one another.
The focus of his art is on the analysis of the metamorphosis-driven cyclical process of painting that is informed by the continuous interplay of its elements.
Curator: Stephanie Damianitsch