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'Paul Schwer: The Shape of Things to Come' opens at Pi Artworks London
The Shape of Things to Come features the artist’s arresting Plexiglas sculptures alongside an intervention on the gallery’s floor and walls.

LONDON.- Pi Artworks London announces Paul Schwer’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Over the last year Schwer has had major solo exhibitions at Leopold Hoesch Museum and Kunstverein Ruhr Germany and IKOB in Belgium, though this is his first in the UK.

The Shape of Things to Come features the artist’s arresting Plexiglas sculptures alongside an intervention on the gallery’s floor and walls. Schwer is a painters’ painter, concerning himself solely with the relationship between colour, space, light, and movement. His work, however, is far removed from the traditional two-dimensional canvas.

With a profoundly spatialized mode of painting Schwer produces sculptural installations charged with light and colour that express an imploding impulse. He begins with flat Plexiglas plates painted with broad-brush strokes of coloured pigment. Then, in one transient moment, through high heat and considerable force, they are spun, twisted, and folded into complex labyrinthine forms. With this gesture, the two-dimensional picture plane is transformed into a three-dimensional body of colour that captures the performativity of its making. Schwer’s paintings transform into dynamic sculptures that appear to expand like evolving creatures on the verge of a luminous burst. The work reflects a tendency in contemporary painting praxis to move beyond the two-dimensional plane, and situate itself within the context of postmodern obsessions with acceleration and urbanity.

The inspiration for his intervention at Pi Artworks London is a photograph taken of a pergola in Istanbul. The decorative archway is transposed into a spatial drawing in black dye covering the floor and walls of the gallery with a web of fine, silver lines. Clusters of fluorescent tubes, wires, pigmented latex and warped polyester cascades from the ceiling. The structure aggressively colonises the gallery with colourful tentacles, transforming it with its luminous presence. Nestled within, are Schwer’s plexiglas sculptures that punctuate the space like nodes of frozen liquid in a chaotic storm; the shape of things to come.

Paul Schwer: Solo exhibitions include: Sport on 6 Istanbul Diary, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; Home, IKOB, Museum for Contemporary Art, Eupen, Belgium; Das Fruchtfleisch unserer Architektur (with Joris van den Moortel), Galeri Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany; and Travellin’ Light, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen, Germany, all in 2013. Schwer has been the recipient of awards and scholarships including the 1995 Cité des Arts, Paris, France, Artist in Residence at Degussa Shanghai, China (2005–06), as well as the 2009 Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn, Germany. His works can be found in public collections throughout Germany, including the Deutsche Bank Collection, Düsseldorf, the Siemens Collection, the NRW State Representation in Brussels, Belgium, and museums in Norway, Slovenia and China. Schwer studied under Professor Heerich at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Germany (1981–88), going on to become first a guest lecturer (2007–11), then a Deputy Professor of Painting (2011–12) at the Kunstakademie Münster. In 1984 he founded the interdisciplinary art project UnArt.

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