Herbert X. Maier: Complementary

Cat. Morat-Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft

Exhibition catalogue, texts (German/English) by Harald M. Hurka, Rainer Marten
224 p with 160 coloured illustrations
270 x 300 m, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-374-1

58,00 €

Painting as a repository of extra-pictorial realities

In his most recent pictures, Herbert X. Maier (the X. stands for his second name Xavér) has arrived at quite astonishing combinations of abstract, in some cases in fact older, abstract-pastose works with realistic motifs, which he presents as diptychs. It would be virtually ­impossible for him to display the contrast between abstract and realistic painting more starkly, and yet Herbert X. Maier remains true to his working method.  Ever since his stay at the Cité des Arts International in Paris some twenty years ago, he has built up his paint­ings layer by layer with direct underpaintings over which he has applied several thick glazes. This reflects his idea of painting as a repository of extra-pictorial realities, and how these can manifest themselves in the painting. The realistic motif elements, for example a ­tilted porcelain bowl, painted in the style of the Old Masters in gradations of light blue,however, convey a direct reference to reality, and yet it is precisely these that are characterized by a voluminous depth. As a result of the up to eighty layers of glaze, the ambient light penetrates into the interior of the motif, as if the painting were suddenly glowing from within. The juxtaposition of the abstract with the representational is described by Herbert X. Maier as follows: »In the complementarity of the confrontation of images, I seek the hiatus and the transition between genres, the ­enclosed and the open, the static and the fluid, the ­volume, the depth, and the surface structure, the stable and the unstable alike.«

Morat-Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg, 23/1 – 25/10/2022