Thomas Rehbein Galerie opens an exhibition of paintings by Ulrich Pester
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Thomas Rehbein Galerie opens an exhibition of paintings by Ulrich Pester
Ohne Titel (Heizen), 2022 Öl & Acryl auf Leinwand / Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 105 x 75 cm.

COLOGN.- Thomas Rehbein Galerie announced the exhibition “heizen” which is the 6th solo exhibition with the painter Ulrich Pester.

Ulrich Pester's paintings do not develop out of a given intention of the artist, but rather out of themselves as a process. The images are understood as a reaction to an idea that accidentally crosses Pester's perception. Incidental things from his immediate environment, such as kitchen utensils, shirt patterns from the closet, but also observations on the street, in films or YouTube videos, become signifiers with symbolic meaning. By cutting out an apparently insignificant object or a situational observation, its form or the snapshot comes into focus.

The subject of scissors, for example, is representative of the dissection of objects from their context. Stylized and alienated in dark blue, the utensil in the work “Ohne Titel (Schere)” (2020) is reduced to its form and yet subtly personified as a kind of portrait. The color surrounding it in an abstract manner on a matt white-greyish background raises the scissors out of the canvas like a body. The broad and at the same time clearly defined brushwork gives the filigree figure a base from which it seems to be moving. On a single brushstroke at the bottom of the picture, resembling a pedestal, the boot that the scissors wear on one of their blades seems to be firmly grounded. Through the personification of the utensil, the subject begins to lead an independent existence and not only rises above its actual use, but also above its medium.

The pictorial composition is created through a new contextualization that Pester does not seek but finds while he is painting. The images develop succulently, like a sculpture, from a technique that seems like a drawing, by adding layer after layer and line by line on the canvas, without ever erasing or subtracting.

“I surrender to the process and let it dictate what happens next. It's like fulfilling a plan without having a plan.” (Ulrich Pester)

By overlapping layers, an expansion of dimensionality is suggested on the given picture surface and materiality is revealed and renegotiated on another level.

He attaches particular importance to the visualization of that processuality. He sketches an observation in the manner of a note, transfers this to the canvas as a basic structure, paints and overpaints, allowing the individual layers of paint to merge, complement, replace or cover one another. However, he does not try to hide, but to expose. Bit by bit, the subject emerges from its medium. Transparent or semi-transparent colors make the overpainting comprehensible and looking at Ulrich Pester's works becomes a search for traces of temporality in the act of painting.

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