Rainer Neumeier

Mittwoch, 16.03.2022, 20.00 Uhr 

Der Talk findet im Studio des Künstlers statt.

Rainer Neumeier, 945JG, acrylic paint on board, 53,5 x 45 cm, 2020

Like a dream that stays with you after waking, Rainer Neumeier’s paintings move beyond their frames. Although uniformly dense, his work is marked by formal variation: by turns vibrant then minimal, tightly patterned then fluid. Neumeier’s work reveals paintings as sites of beauty and doubt.

But it is by no means absolute. Quite the opposite: Neumeier seems to explore weaknesses in the history of abstraction and mark making all together, as well as in the wide realm of digital aesthetics. At times, his paintings appear fragile, particularly in a physical sense – for instance when they seem to melt at their edges – but most often in terms of perception. Neumeier lays bare misreadings and the susceptibility of the grid to abuse, corruption, decay. The results are ambiguous and destabilizing works of art that appear at first, quite neutral, then suddenly, charged.

The intensity of Neumeier’s paintings derives from their process: the artist works on wooden boards, laid horizontally on tables in his Berlin studio in order to enable him to more flexibly pour then scrape acrylic across their surfaces. At times, he employs forms such as wire to dictate the structure of the paint on board. At others, he relies solely on the swirling, colorful cosmos rendered by combining wet and dry layers, pressure and gravity. In both, Neumeier’s work speaks to a fully intertwined virtual and analogue existence. Looking at it transports us to a place where solitude is possible, but no one is kept in isolation.

Every part of Neumeier’s process is integrated into an intricate studio-ecosystem: shaved or scraped off layers of acrylic are stored in boxes, like stratified puzzle pieces to be fit into some bigger picture; paint brushes dipped time and again into buckets of white gesso accumulate layers and hang as sculptural testaments to an act as well as blank, steadfast counterpoints to more lively renderings; an array of found objects edge along the rooms’ perimeters. Neumeier’s inspiration is both as far reaching and as coherent as the results of his work. From sci-fi to the natural world, machinery to microbiology, he pays attention to bit parts and the larger systems they enact.

Operating in an era in which many artists use their work to spell out a message, frequently that has to do with singular experience, Neumeier explores a terrain more interested in erasing the hand of an individual author. His work creates a code he simultaneously attempts to crack. It invites us into its glitch and suspends us in the acts of both looking and interpreting.


Isabel Parkes, 2021