Galerie Mezzanin

Works on paper
Hubert Scheibl, Walter Vopava, Martha Jungwirth

Press release

"Works on paper" is an exhibition of three major artists of Austrian abstraction. Usually reserved for written language, paper is here overtaken by a play of colors and forms that make us forget its primary vocation. Sometimes handmade or collected during distant trips, these media are at the heart of the work of Martha Jungwirth and Hubert Scheibl. Gathered here around this common practice, Walter Vopava, Hubert Scheibl and Martha Jungwirth close a cycle of three exhibitions dedicated to their paintings. The works exhibited in "Works on paper" articulate dynamic and hypnotic abstractions and philosophical or existentialist questions around the co-existence of light and its absence, the harmony between order and chaos.

Scheibl's work evokes a kaleidoscope of diversity and a field of tension between idea and gesture, between the mobile and the static. His unique work is built on these sublime (and most difficult to grasp) elements of nature and life, but also of art.
He focuses on bringing out these discrepancies, this constant back and forth between otherworldly beauty and the sharp, glaring disruptive factors that test the ductility of his medium. "I had to fail properly first. In order for something to fall into place, I had to miss the mark first! I see failure over the years a little more calmly, it's part of the ongoing crisis. You have to start with mistakes in order to get to that point in the first place, which is then worth pursuing". This state between the darkness of the unknown and the innocent luminosity of the creative process is transposed in Walter Vopava's work by subtractions and additions of contrasts, by an original visual language of transitions, connections and layers.

Indeed, Hubert Scheibl's colorful vapor clouds stand in contrast to Walter Vopava's work, which since the 1990s has been mainly composed of atmospheric abstract paintings governed by an intuitive order. These almost geometric grids reveal a subtle play between the total absence of color and the reunion of all its hues: between black and white. Sometimes, appears a spectral violet glow or the primary color green. They thus free themselves from the dialogue between the absolutes and shine on the paper like a glimmer of hope in the darkness. These plays of light sound almost like the minimal notes of a silent, visual and colorful melody.

Walter Vopava and Hubert Scheibl joined the German-speaking painting movement of the Junge Wilde in the 1980s. They opposed the established avant-garde, minimal art and conceptual art with their expressive paintings in bright, intense colors and with their fast, broad brushstrokes. Martha Jungwirth, also influenced by this movement, seeks a state before spoken language, "before Euclid where straight lines meet at the vanishing point". She frees herself from thought and, between fragility and intuitive strength, composes "her seismograms of inner states". "I paint not only with brushes, but also with my fingers, with any debris, depending on how I want the stains". Martha Jungwirth's common thread is her love of paper, preferably paper that shows signs of age. She is also interested in how different shades meet, how they challenge each other.

Images Press release