Über die Blindheit 2, 1999-2000, auto lacquer on aluminium, 193 x 231.5 x 4 cm

Rémy Zaugg »Über die Blindheit«

Berlin, December 02, 2000 - January 15, 2001

The paintings of Rémy Zaugg seem to arrive from an outer space, never touched by man but nevertheless full of a tremendous energy. There are obvious links to Minimalism, apparent in the use of prefabricated elements such as typography and auto-lacquer on aluminium, and to the ever-present discussion around Modernist painting.

read more

They are certainly conceptual art works, oscillating between being objects and paintings, just as the paintings as such are oscillating in the eye of the beholder, creating an extremely physical experience that makes them all the more difficult to look at the longer one tries. This is also reflected in Zaugg's texts meditating upon seeing, blinding, and blindness - a feedback into the fact that visual art always deals with seeing, although the act of seeing may be ruled by many different entities.

The eleven works, thereof one diptych, in the exhibition "Über die Blindheit" at Galerie Nordenhake all bear the same text SCHAU,/ICH BIN/BLIND,/SCHAU, (Look, I am Blind, Look.). Each large-scale painting, 193,0 x 231,5 x 4,0 cm, has its own colour combination, cold pink lettering on linden green background or a strong yellow lettering on a candy pink background, colours that clash brutally and seem irritating or even stupid. The German text is a variation on his well known thematic interest in the act of seeing and its opposite, being blind.

These paintings have the capacity to address and engage the viewer in a dialogue - the painting speaks of its blindness and urges the beholder to look as if it only exists within the gaze. The title of the exhibition (On Being Blind) reads like a philosophical treaty and the paintings can be perceived as a discussion on fundamental issues in the grammar of visual art. These paintings are pure. We see colour, and on one level nothing else - as if there was no genesis, no material - and since the process of making these paintings has been carefully erased, even reversed, only the colour is left to be perceived.

Still, his work requires an intellectual language beyond the informal address, or vocation of the paintings themselves. Rémy Zaugg has come to play an increasingly important role in present European cultural life, not only for his activities in the field of visual art, but also as a critic and observer of contemporary cultural phenomena, not at least of the perception of space and architecture.

Rémy Zaugg was born 1943, in Courgenay, Switzerland, he is currently living in Pfastatt, outside Basle, at the border between France and Switzerland, and had his first exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake in 1998. At the Art Basel in 2000, he made a special exhibition for the gallery, consisting of a room full of paintings with texts such as: REGARDE,/TU ME REGARDES/ET/J'ADVIENS. or REGARDE,/MOI/L'IMAGE/JE TE/REGARDE/ET TOI TU/DEVIENS,/REGARDE.

Installation view

Über die Blindheit 2, 1999-2000, auto lacquer on aluminium, 193 x 231.5 x 4 cm

Installation view

Über die Blindheit 3, 1999-2000, auto lacquer on aluminium, 193 x 231.5 x 4 cm

Über die Blindheit 7, 1999-2000, auto lacquer on aluminium, 193 x 231.5 x 4 cm