Werk und Welt, The Duality of Everything
Michael van Ofen
Info: After more than 20 years of collaboration with Sies + Höke, Michael van Ofen presents his first exhibition exclusively devoted to murals. In doing away with the canvas and creating monochromatic lacquer paintings directly on the wall, van Ofen is returning to an idea he first exhibited in the late 1970s, when he was still a student in Gerhard Richter’s class at Düsseldorf Academy. The mural he made then, an entire wall covered in glossy white varnish, reflected the light from the opposing windows. Van Ofen cites Blinky Palermo and Michael Asher as two of his idols then. He soon came to do something that was considered drastic and extremely provocative at the time, however: abandoning minimalism and conceptual art, he resorted to 19th century landscapes, portraits and history paintings, which he painterly reduced to near-abstraction. Van Ofen has since become known for his virtuoso brushstrokes that seem effortless while capturing an original composition with extreme precision.