Only two structural principles allow Horst Bartnig (born 1936 in Militsch/Silesia) to expand his painting into a cosmos of barely unimaginable variety: the variations and the interruptions developed from the former.
Whereas it is geometry – to which our perception tries to find the key and is in that way drawn into the aesthetics of its clear changes of colour and its geometrical order – that counts in the single picture, it is exactly the other way round when encountering several pictures: The system that is easy to mutually explain itself multiplies its visual possibilities into the vast. In painting, colour perception can hardly be more sharpened, rhythm hardly be applied in a more structured way, aleatory hardly stem from more unpredictable ground. Although all pictures by Horst Bartnig derive from strictly regularly abstract principles of design and their action patterns, his paintings are sensual showers for the eyes that make us blink.
Horst Bartnig is an artistic exception. Not only has he developed and represented his practice following mathematical systems in complete autonomy, also today his work proves how geometrical basics, put into system and play – ignoring all trends and developments in art – do not leave any longing for vivid freshness unfulfilled. Bartnig learned stage design at the School for Applied Arts in Magdeburg in the 1950s, worked for the stage in Berlin for many years and has developed his artistic position of concrete painting from the 1960s on. His experiments in computer art and the systematics of his colour-geometrical painting have been unique in the former GDR.
The exhibition presents an overall installation of paintings and drawings of interruptions.
horst bartnig. concrete: interruptions
Edited by Annegret Laabs and Uwe Gellner
Texts germ./engl.: Eugen Blume, Uwe Gellner
Translation: Julian Wheatley
108 p., numerous illustrations, Softcover
Verlag für moderne Kunst, 2017