Works on Metal

  • Michele Colburn by Michele Colburn
    Image: Veit Schmidleitner Image credits: Jeremy Knowles
    Image: Veit Schmidleitner Image credits: Jeremy Knowles


    Veit Schmidleitner 


    German artist Veit Schmidleitner's paintings from his "Coupure" Series of abstractions fuse a sense of the industrial with inherent elegance that create new surfaces that defy tradition. These sometimes dramatically contrasting notions are brought together in compositions that evoke both a new visual topography and a sense of grace that nod to industrial roots, but that in some ways deflect traditional artistic methods.


    The works range in scale from moderate to those that anchor an entire gallery wall, and as the spacious galleries include natural light at certain times of the day, many nuances and visual textures are revealed to the delight of the viewer.


    At first glance, compositions appear to feature a traditional paint application of washes that harbor the subtlety of watercolor work, but there is more. A variety of color tones and greys that shift and evolve of their own accord take over the compositions. In some areas, there are bursts of intense color that grab the eye and interrupt initial readings. Simultaneously, curiosity is piqued as these works have what appear to be a mix of traditional and industrial pigments, and high-gloss varnish that gives the work an extreme polish or sheen that is intriguing. The treatment of surface is reflective and as the viewer approaches the work they may see their reflection and elements in their space. This is not a classic painting approach, it is something very new indeed.


    Schmidleitner creates with cut panels that are often times irregular, but that are joined to make finished stable rectangular or near-square compositions. Orientations may be primarily vertical or horizontal depending on the piece.


    I had the opportunity recently to speak with Schmidleitner by Skype and also in person in Berlin, before the vernissage.