Alfred D'Ursel



Neutral shades of pink, somewhat cottony, provide a visual bass-line for this new body of work, a comforting framing device that grants entrance to the viewer. It meanders throughout and over all works, sometimes more, sometimes less perceivable. As in previous exhibitions there is a veil of news flash in the air, this time recalling the Financial Times’ conspicuous paper color.

A landscape of images based on algorithms, reduced to a point one could concisely describe as visual matter, images struggling for ultimate meaning in all their semantic overexposure, more on this later.

Although we are confronted with painting in the strict sense of the word, questions of its conventions lead into a Cul-de-sac. Such categories feel as distant as the view from space on earth, and probably to any possible intentions of the author, for whom the exercise of the painterly work is nothing more than writing it down by hand on panels of the same height.

This landscape consists of echoes, or rather shadows things known, like a merry-goround of cliffhangers: ombres chinoises, a bootleg of artist Louis Soutter evokes a Rorschach test (whose technique Hermann Hesse once described: “not correct, not beautiful, but right (…) “, a rabbit leaning on a tree, a tornado, a black or blackened figure resembling a clueless bogeyman, airplanes, fake and real, like a cast of stereotypes ambushed in a snow globe. Generic placeholders for today’s endless reductionist discourses.

The former domains of art, such as provocation, alternative, “otherness” are vastly conquered by reality, since the first week of January 2021 it became quite unequivocal. What felt always staged in reality has ultimately replaced the real, and the demons of this new reality are its structural norms. From here, the work can thus be understood as an intimist speculation to measure out the razor-thin space where and how art still could happen, in the most standardized of all artistic mediums, but detached from its protocols.

text by Martin Germann