At the Baltic Gateshead until the 3rd of November is an exhibition of work from the last five years by Thomas Scheibitz, organised by the MMK Museum für Modern Kunst Frankfurt am Main. Without having seem them in real life (my train is booked), the pictures seem close to murals. Though their sensibility is current they draw on the language of earlier European modernists who occupied a halfway house between abstraction and figuration. Picasso, most obviously, but perhaps also Leger, Jean Helion and Auguste Herbin. You can watch a film made by the Baltic here and a studio visit by Frieze here. The quotations below are taken from one or other of the films.
“I think it [abstraction] is not an issue. Everyone knows what you mean when you say this is abstract and this is figurative, but I think it’s a dead-end. I’m sure… today for every totally abstract form we could find something under a microscope, or on the street, or in the universe, that has a likeness, or that looks similar.”
“The creation of new forms is a contradiction in terms; you can’t create new forms from scratch. But I feel most happy if I get the feeling that I’m close to the edge of inventing a new form. You are in between a memory and a first, surprised version.”
“Whether it’s a can of Coca-Cola or a Michelangelo I look at everything with the same sense of irreverence, but still very seriously.”