Günter Umberg’s paintings take time, both to see and to make. The viewer’s perceptual efforts match the artist’s work on the picture. The dense, deep, rigorously nonfigurative surfaces of these paintings result from Umberg’s repeated application of several dozen layers of dark, dry, mostly matte pigments. The viewer who engages with this painted color surface experiences the picture somewhere between its granular physicality and its elusive spatiality. The comfortable scale and careful placement (usually one work on each wall) enable a face-to-face dialogue between the individual viewer and individual painting, position and “opposition.”
Both a monograph on Umberg’s work and an exhibition catalogue of two projects curated by the artist in Zurich and Karlsruhe in 2006 / 07, the book offers a first-hand insight into the practice and position of one of Germany’s most committed tenants of abstraction.
Published with the Städtischen Galerie Karlsruhe and Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich.
English and German text.