Negation as Practice, Schema as Paint   🙂

Painting is generally seen as the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or any other medium onto a solid surface. We have come to know this surface as the canvas. The painting you have presented before you on this digital or paper surface is merely a reproduction of the original canvas. It has become weightless, groundless, dimensionless and cybernetic. In a sense, the image you are looking at is an abstraction of the very thing it‘s supposed to be representing, which is a work by Jonas Schoeneberg.

Now we could at this point liken this reproduction of Schoeneberg’s work to a ghosting or at least a staged deathmask. The image that appears in front of us can never achieve the thickness, the depth or the trace of his hand. We can’t see the way the light hits the alabaster plaster or the soft subtle glitch of the palate he has applied gently in oils and pigments. The jpeg, the pdf, the tiff at this point fails the painter and in turn, fails the painting. Now lets release the polemic discourse of painting and its negation by the relentless digital sphere – by merely seeing this new discourse as a psychodrama between genres. 

Schonenberg draws on the drama of painting today, subverting its facade through gesture, material, sequence, and abstraction. The false moves and forged gestures he makes keeps the viewer in a constant state of perplexity. Disorientated by the traditional modes of nuanced minimalism, Schonenberg richly erotizes the skeleton of painting. His canvases collapse the foreground and background into a horizon of harmonious oblivion, what we see on-screen is a painting coming to grips with the function of its own self-image, the canvas.

Text by Penny Rafferty