Stefan Vogel. eigentlich schön

Painting is normally understood as a process in which colour is applied to a surface. The artist Stefan Vogel shows how much more painting can be. He was involved in the exhibition “Jetzt! Young Painting in Germany”, which was shown at the Kunstmuseen Bonn and Wiesbaden and the Kunstsammlung Chemnitz in 2019 and at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg the following year, and had his first solo museum exhibition “Relax, it’s only Paranoia” at the Kunstsammlung Chemnitz in 2021. Here he showed how he reacts to spaces and creates new spaces within them. Both his paintings and his spatial installations are the product of a process in which Stefan Vogel transcends the usual boundaries of the medium of painting in terms of materials and installations, but does not completely abandon it.

The exhibition eigentlich schön at Galerie Michael Haas illustrates this process: Vogel hangs ten large-format canvases in the rooms in Niebuhrstraße, in which the painting appears more as a collage of materials, sometimes reduced, sometimes lavishly designed, whereby these become a new pictorial ground and the paintings become part of a larger, spatial collage. He covers the walls of the gallery with curtains dipped in plaster and then exposes the canvases again in a decollage. The result is an expansive installation that is to be understood as a work, a three-dimensional, collaged painting.

Stefan Vogel imagines a reality of life characterized by artistic and productive human life, filled with things, objects and substances that embody important feelings and questions. The materials used, often clearly marked by decay, point to the progression of time and link it to space in a philosophical manner. Vogel’s works serve to examine sociological issues, some of them very personal, which are at the centre of his work: Modes of behaviour and communication, or generally mechanisms of living together in today’s society.

The artist Stefan Vogel (*1981 in Fürth) lives and works in Leipzig. His work is characterized by a special material aesthetic, subtle poetry and a reduced formal language borrowed from minimal art.

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