Christoph Steinmeyer

Cat. Kunstverein Heilbronn

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Matthia Löbke
texts (German/English) by Michael Althen and Joseph R. Wolin
88 p with 40 coloured illustrations
310 x 280 mm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-936859-80-5

29,80 €

The image within an image

The Düsseldorf artist born in 1967 and who also resides in Berlin belongs to a generation of painters who question the authenticity of the medium as much as the provenance of its pictorial compositionality. Since the mid-1990s Christoph Steinmeyer has devoted himself to a magical symbolism, which leads both his subject matter and style of his painting into an area of hybridism, yet creating a dangerous but well-founded liaison. One might say that the surfaces of the luxurious interiors or the surfaces with their synthetic effect or the bold, colour-field still lifes of flowers look as though they have been melted in the flame of a Bunsen Burner. However, they aren’t amalgamations in which mass-media images are merely transformed into painting or the »stories« are faded out, but rather the artist refers to collective ideas of medially transmitted patterns and models that he transfers into a new and likewise imagined ideal type. In the most recent group of works this brand of magical symbolism takes an astonishing turn. The film sets that are made up of scenery from different scenes are embellished with symbolic props. These pointed image-within-an image constellations interrupt the time-space continuum of the interiors after having been additionally charged with titles such as »Gilda«, »Rebecca« or »Violet«. Christoph Steinmeyer counters the apparent authenticity of his filmic black and white painting  with grisalle, which upon closer inspection reveals a fine and detailed chromaticism. This style of painting convulses the beautiful appearance of the compositions like peristalsis – as if we were dealing with dream sequences that can only occur in films or indeed in  the way Christoph Steinmeyer shows them to us. It is indeed a rarity to find such fantastical potential in painting. The book complete with its unusual format is the first publication to date on Christoph Steinmeyer’s work.

Kunstverein Heilbronn, 16/03–20/04/2008