When Kasimir Malevich designed the first suprematist stage set in 1913 with his construct he accidentally abolished art by believing it could be turned into an object of thinking. In between philosophy and decoration over the course of a century plenty of nonsense has been attributed to abstract art, its autonomy towards things abandoned to the quagmire of excessive brooding. For years DAG has set free from deep thinking circles, squares, and triangles, bringing them onto the white-painted surface in ever new constellations. Here he creates a playful world sans objects, where the visible does not hide behind thinking.
On DAG’s latest black-and-white canvasses the geometric personnel contracts to multiplied scenes rich in contrast. Within a wide, black stream circles advance and collapse to triangles while being propelled by spirals upon soft, regularly patterned pillows. Here and there some piece falls through the grid, is swallowed by a rich black only to be cast into the game again a moment later by the powerful dynamism of contrasts. Chaos and cosmos aren’t adversaries merely strutting their stuff made of sparkling reference on the surface of the canvas. In DAG’s paintings they fight over prime spots, leaving in the observer’s eye black-and-white shreds. Already, on the next canvas, its seconds out for the next round, both impatient to mercilessly beat up well-behaved geometry one more time.
For the eye that can’t help itself thinking these images make for heavy going alright. Yet once started there’s no stopping the noise of shapes from cutting spirals on the retina.
Text: Ulrike Pennewitz
DAG, born 1964 in Eberswalde, Germany, lives and works in Berlin. exhibitions selection: 2012, Rasterfahndung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, (G); réaction en chaîne 002. Galerie du Tableau, Marseille, France, (G); Alles Wasser. Galerie Mikael Andersen, Berlin, (G); new abstractions, WTC, Hamburg (G); slowburn, Galerie hanfweihnacht, Frankfurt (S). 2011, Inclusion. LAURA MARS GRP., Berlin, (S); Kettenreaktion, Kunsthaus Erfurt (G); 2009 Kunstruimte 09. Amsterdam. Niederlande, (G). publications selection Rasterfahndung – Das Raster in der Kunst, catalogue Kunstmuseum Stuttgart 2012, Ulrike Gros and Simone Schimpf (Hrsg.), Winand Verlag; DAG - Inclusion, Fantôme Verlag; DAG - If you know, Gutleut Verlag