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German artists Heiner Thiel and Michael Post in new exhibition at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art
Heiner Thiel, Untitled, 2013. Anodized aluminum, 13 x 12 x 2 in.

SANTA FE, NM.- A collaborative exhibition, Colours of Space, featuring German artists Heiner Thiel and Michael Post, opened at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art on June 28 and extend through July 21.

What is color? Is it a thing you can hold in your hand? Material or ethereal? Light or matter? We walk through a world of colors—green leaves, blue sky, red sandstone—but what, exactly are we seeing? As the title of this exhibition, Colours of Space, suggests, the work of Heiner Thiel and Michael Post teases out and experiments with the immateriality of color.

This might seem a contradiction because the first impression on walking into the exhibition is that these pieces are very definitely and intensely colored. Brilliant blues and saturated red, screaming orange and profound green, sing out from the walls. The richness and solidity of each color is arresting. But come closer to these sculptural paintings and suddenly the idea of fixity vanishes. Reds slide across the spectrum, taking on pale highlights and deep shadows. Blues shimmer and vanish into depths of purple-black. While the material color of these works might be set, the eye does not perceive a constant but rather a flux—color has slipped the bounds of form.

Heiner Thiel’s works of concave anodized aluminum seem to bloom out of the walls. Each piece has been mathematically calculated and fabricated as a precise portion of a sphere. Their arcing shape is both intimate and suggestive—it tricks the viewer into feeling as if they were inside of a spherical space. In the bowl of these pieces the anodized color moves as the light (and angle of the viewer) moves. The longer that one spends exploring one of Thiel’s pieces, the more that the color of the piece seems to lift off of the surface of the metal and to inhabit the space, inside.

Michael Post’s pieces, like Thiel’s, are fabricated to precise geometries. Post works with folded sheet steel cut into form and then laminated with fiberglass. The fiberglass surface allows for a canvas-like structure upon which Post is able to apply the acrylic color by hand. The structure of the pieces contains a reference to the tradition of panel-painting. Through use of foreshortening, spatial illusions appear which change as the perspective of the viewer changes. The shape of the pieces troubles the eye, teasing it out toward an ever receding horizon, not allowing the viewer’s perception of the piece to remain static. The color of the pieces become integral to the perception of their shape—color as space.

As different as Thiel and Post’s works might seem in some ways—Thiel’s pieces seem to be trying to lift off and escape from the bounds of the wall, while Post’s seem to be attempting to merge with or alter it—there is a unity to the exhibition as a whole. The two artists have worked together closely for many years, encouraging and challenging each other’s approaches and explorations of space, color, and perspective in art. Each piece in the exhibition has been carefully chosen to compliment and contrast, to provoke an experience in the viewer.

In the new collaborative exhibition Colours of Space, Thiel and Post’s pieces engage in a conversation in which precise form is used as the milieu against which color materializes. Geometric shapes carve out a space from the deceptive two-dimensionality of the white gallery walls. In turn this reclaimed space becomes a crucible of color.

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