Florian Meisenberg captures something rare in painting: lightness. Things appear weightless, a motley group of colourful objects tumble around in a crisp, white space and the human body is evoked in a pink line as it weaves across the canvas. In many of the works there is no external frame, the canvas floats unstretched like a flag or banner in the sky.
There is nothing superficial about the lightness, it is aspirational and pensive. Meisenberg is deeply aware of the counterpart to lightness: heaviness - the titles of his work, and the words inscribed across his canvases such as I Have Pain, tell of suffering. In Six Memos for the Next Millennium Italo Calvino tells how he strives to express lightness in his writing: 'Wherever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space.'
Meisenberg delivers this different space, an open field where tensions are not resolved and different states can co-exist. The colours are radiant and the whole colour spectrum is on display: brilliant blues and sharp, acid yellows play against rosy pinks and muted greys. The surface has a range of textures: letters are dribbled with thick, globular paint, the human body is rendered with broad, rough strokes while the backgrounds are translucent.
There is a sense of a natural order: arrangements appear to form freely, heads fall naturally into a pyramid as their shapes fit around each other. In some of his works sexual gymnastics or a feast is going on, as body parts and fluids, merge. The body, sometimes turned inside out, is reminiscent of a Jean Dubuffet’s figure; but unlike the angst ridden Expressionist, Meisenberg is gentle, playful and interested in the mysteriousness of life, in unexplainable forces.
FLORIAN MEISENBERG born in Berlin, 1980, lives and works in New York.
He graduated from the Düsseldorf Kunstacademie in 2010. Recent exhibitions includeFlorian Meisenberg at Art Since the Summer of ’69, (Kate MacGarry in residence), New York, 2011; you can leave your hat on, Gallery Hasen Performance at Schmela Haus K20/K21, Düsseldorf; Self-consciousness (curated by Hilton Als & Peter Doig), Veneklasen Werner, Berlin, and Finally! scientists found out that art is just another hobby! (with C. Lohmann), Tanzschule Projects, Munich, all 2010; The artist as a model of change*, the artist as a young clown (*cancelled), Tanja Pol Galerie, Munich, 2009.
The publication If you stare on this painting for 72 hours you will loose 4.5 pounds was published in 2009 and is available from the gallery.