Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Bastian Börsig

9/4/2015 – 10/17/2015

The Artist Talk will take place September 24th, 7 pm. Bastian Börsig talks with Adrienne Braun, art critic and journalist for art magazin, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as nachtkritik.de For the first time, Wagner + Partner is exhibiting the powerful works of Bastian Börsig (b 1984, Schwäbisch Hall), who this year received the City of Karlsruhe Cultural Award, at a solo exhibition in Berlin.

When we look at an artwork, we usually begin by glancing quickly at the label to the side that lists the title, year and dimensions of the work as well as information about the technique. Bastian Börsig’s works also have these labels – but they do not help us much, as they only reveal technical details. In the absence of a title, we have to look directly at the pictures in order to understand the language of painting in which Börsig communicates with us.

Börsig’s pictures hover between representation and complete abstraction, to the extent that the actual object of depiction is dissolved: he deliberately uses paint to evoke representational associations, to produce representational images in our minds; but never to actually represent objects himself. A pale pink form on three legs evokes an udder painted by a child; but it is not actually an udder. A tiny man in galoshes and dark trousers dissolves up into a large pink tube; it is not a person, but rather the eruption of the man’s emotions. Something does not seem right. Bastian Börsig deliberately plays with our associations, thoughts and expectations, only to confound them.

A pastose application of paint makes the inconceivable tangible, while varnished sections create a pole of calm. The varnish often creates a peculiar craquelure effect, and in places the paint has been applied in a crude manner. Sometimes, the execution is extremely fine and precise: brush-width sections of colour shot through with squiggles and signs that are concrete yet delicate. Archaic, emotional and yet playful, his pictures recast the qualities of situations. We peer into his dynamic narratives and find that everything looks completely different at second glance. Completely detached from the transmission of sensory impressions, the pictures address us without titles so as not to mislead.

Börsig – who sees himself as an abstract painter – believes that good pictures convey a meaning while also saying something about painting. Just as Magritte perhaps wished to make clear that the represented object and the object itself are not identical, no matter how realistic the representation, in his pictures Börsig shows that we must rigorously distinguish between representation and reality.