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Sies + Höke

Sies + Höke

Private Gallery
Book launch - Michael van Ofen - Armory Show 2011
  Book launch - Michael van Ofen - Armory Show 2011

We are pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive new catalogue on the work by Michael van Ofen, published by Distanz Verlag, Berlin.

The book will first be available at Armory Show, New York, this coming week.

Painting between figuration and abstraction

With almost 30 years of painterly practice, Michael van Ofen (1956) assumes a special and quite contradictory position within contemporary art. Although equipped as an artist with qualified academic training, he is a self-taught painter. Although in his work in the painterly craft would rather indicate the contrary, he sees himself essentially not as a painter. Although his choice of motifs might indicate the contrary, he does not see himself as nostalgic, but rather, and quite explicitly, as a contemporary artist, as it is precisely the questioning of the contemporary which to him is a key interest. And so his historical approach lies in the beginning of today's "contemporariness", in the beginning of the present time (Modernity) at the turn of the 19th century.

Despite the often postulated end of painting, for his conceptual study of the artistic representation of the historical, van Ofen selects portraits, still lifes, flowers, interiors and landscapes - subjects that appear rarely in contemporary painting. For him, painting a picture also represents a cautious approximation to the process of painting itself. A unique combination of particular brush strokes, reduction of colour and particular treatment of light keep his paintings in a fascinating balance between figuration and abstraction.
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