For his fourth individual show at the Heinrich Ehrhardt Gallery, German artist Helmut Dorner (Gengenbach / Baden, 1952) presents us with an outstanding selection of his most recent work. Building on deep-rooted and time-honored principles that have become a trademark of his creations, these new paintings illustrate innovative characteristics that reveal the latest extravagant aspects of his work.
Up until now, Dorner’s painting has been characterized by the use of lacquer on plexiglas and the distribution of the resulting blots, spills and drops on the surface. While some of these emblematic elements are still present in his work, there have been some recent incorporations, such as graphite or the use of techniques that reflect pictorial methods including décollage, friction or scratching the surface of the painting. This new direction highlights the limitless character of his painting as a practical recipe for abstraction, while simultaneously reflecting on the theory of the continuous cycle of death and resurrection that painting as an art form has gone through over the past decades.
In Helmut Dorner’s work, the paint runs as if in a liquid race, revealing swirls of shades and colors that seem to be seeking their own paths. Now and again these shapes, altered by the commotion of the encounter, even run the risk of sharing a path. It appears that in his recent work the artist has created these phenomena more consciously. In other words, even though the spontaneity and almost innate movement of paint remain unaltered as in his previous work and shows, it would now seem that the artist feels like making his actions, the movements of his hand, much more visible and present. And this definitely affects the distinctive relationship that Dorner establishes with his work, and as a result, the relationship his work establishes with the observer. These paintings emphasize the spatial distance generated between the background and the surface, between the space created by the painting itself and the viewer.
La dispersión de la pintura de Helmut Dorner, ese despliegue líquido mediante el cual distintos tonos y colores se revuelven buscando su propio camino y aventurando algunos compartidos, esas formas alteradas por la agitación del encuentro con el otro, parecen, en estas piezas recientes, fenómenos más conscientes. Es decir, que aunque la espontaneidad y la circulación casi innata de la pintura se mantenga inalterable con respecto a trabajos y exposiciones anteriores, ahora la acción del artista, su mano, se antoja mucho más visible y presente. Y esto sin duda incide en la peculiar relación que Dorner establece con su obra y a su vez la que esta última instaura con el espectador. Una pintura espacial que hace hincapié en la distancia generada entre el fondo y la superficie, y el espacio propio de la pintura y el espectador.