Adrian Schiess’ “Flache Arbeiten” (Flat Works), which he has been producing since 1987 and referring to as “Malerei” (Painting) for several years now, have become his frequently misinterpreted trademark, being erroneously associated in art discourse with monochrome painting or concrete art. Instead they are more like fragments of his comprehensive project “Malerei,” which “always [deals] with images, internal as well as external, reproduction, representation, space, time, site, place, states, surfaces, illusion, splendor, realities” (Adrian Schiess). He develops his paintings on wood, paper, aluminum, in videos and photographs, starting out from any surface, with all kinds of techniques.
Since 1995, he has been working intensively on paintings condensed in their materiality, attempting to concentrate the expansive floor panel paintings into small-format wall pictures and explicitly show them by means of the classic medium. The series “Couchers du soleil” (Sunset) suggests associations with a traditional theme without actually showing it; rather, the subject of investigation is the temporal dimension, its fugacity and beauty. The artist’s most recent paintings are a continuation of a series of paintings from the early eighties whose canvases Adrian Schiess had cut holes into. This new series of works with its consciously evocative title “Vollmond” (Full Moon) or “Halbmond” (Half Moon), the subject of which has been cut away and is absent, paradoxically plays with light and space. A certain “discomfort within the rectangle” causes Schiess to resort to an irregular format; the openings in the canvas are consciously positioned and create an active rapport with the surroundings. Yet another new series of crassly dimensioned landscape-format paintings that provokes active dialogue with the viewer – more fragments from Adrian Schiess’ extensive study of the reality of painting and the reality of visual experience.
With the exhibition “Shiny” we will be inaugurating our new ground floor, street-side space LOGIN. In the future this will be a venue for site-specific projects by the artists and for the outward presentation of our exhibition program. Adrian Schiess will be showing his videos of shifting hues of color and “Fetzen” (Rags) stacked on top of each other.
Adrian Schiess’ appearance at this year's Art Unlimited in Basel, his current participation in the exhibition “Extreme Abstraction” at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, as well as the interest international museum collections have taken in his work are testimony of the recognition of the artist's exceptional position in painting.