Florian Schmidt “Untitled(Capacity)08” (2014), acrylic, lacquer, vinyl, card, canvas, wood, 180 x 180cm, photo taken by Simon Vogel, copyright of Figge von Rosen Gallery
Lines of colour and texture compose a striking scene at the Figge von Rosen Gallery, as part of Florian Schmidt’s solo exhibition. The two and three dimensional works in the show Ambit direct our attention to the complexity of the frame itself and its potential to reveal a richly textured space. By complicating the boundaries of the art object, these works stimulate a critique of the alienation inherent in the subject-object dichotomy and construct a different, more empathetic means of relating to the environment.
Standing works like ‘Chorus’ or ‘Circulations’ explore the rich potential of the frame to generate new and unique situations, with empty gaps that invite transformation and change: the scene that the viewer sees depends on his/her position in relation to the environment itself. Thin vertical lines of colour, selectively incorporated into the frame, serve to accentuate the dimensionality of the work and create movement.
Florian Schmidt “Chorus” (2014), acrylic, lacquer, vinyl, cardboard, wood, 150 x 223 x 80cm, photo taken by Simon Vogel, copyright of Figge von Rosen Gallery
Schmidt’s works brings into presence the frame as an artistic object in itself. In ‘Untitled(Whitespace)01,’ the artwork emerges through concentric layers of rectangular shapes that bear the traces of their construction, with splintered edges and irregular gaps. The textures and shapes of the works are further brought into prominence with a sophisticated colour palette.
These standing sculptural works seem to respond to Michael Fried’s famous essay “Art and Objecthood”, in which Fried explores how contemporary art is not a discrete, finished thing but rather a means of revealing an experience, dependent on the body’s presence in an environment. Schmidt’s works complicate the dynamic between the subject viewing and the art object, between the image and the frame we see it through.
Florian Schmidt “Untitled(WHitespace)01” (2014), acrylic, lacquer, vinyl, cardboard, wood, 72.5 x 35cm, photo taken by Simon Vogel, copyright of Figge von Rosen Gallery
While artworks often occupy an abstract, removed space, Schmidt’s works are incorporated into and co-dependent on the environment they share with the viewer. Despite the geometrical construction, the works appear distinctly anthropomorphic. The standing works are human sized in height, neither small enough to be considered an object nor big enough to appear as a monumental sculpture or as architecture. A thin layer of paint covers most of the surface like a skin, making the fleshy grain of the lumber, cardboard, and paper more distinct, and the industrial staples that are used throughout the works bite into the material with a visceral rawness. Walking around the exhibit, one can’t help but feel a sort of empathetic relationship towards the objects upon noticing the organic irregularities and inconsistencies of the construction.
FIGGE VON ROSEN
“Ambit” – FLORIAN SCHMIDT
Exhibition: Aug. 30 – Oct. 25, 2014
Potsdamerstraße 98 (click here for map)
Blog post by Alena Sokhan in Berlin; Friday, Oct. 10, 2014