By Emanuel Mir
It is no easy task to describe the extremely heterogeneous work of Becker Schmitz in a few brief sentences. First of all, it is not possible to say clearly whether the work of the Duisburg-based artist is to be classified as “painting”, “installation” or “site-specific intervention”. He takes great pleasure in hopping from one genre to the next and refuses all one-dimensional, constricting categorizations.
Nevertheless, the various components of his protean oeuvre are all charged with the same energy, with the same striking readiness to expand with force into three-dimensional space. When he paints, Becker Schmitz creates hallucinatory pictures full of spectral beauty, pictures with venomously garish colors in front of bleak and gloomy backgrounds, pictures with weighty materiality and an almost sculptural texture, pictures whose archetypical motifs (house, tree, horse) oscillate in a precarious balance between a pure experience of painting and narratives full of atmosphere. It is at all times uncertain whether the motifs emerge out of the painting surface or, on the contrary, whether they are themselves bearers of surface effects.
When he works with sculptural means, Becker Schmitz treats the respective space in a way that is highly particular. With the simplest of materials – found wooden batons, adhesive tape – he builds dynamic structures, which he wedges between the walls and ceilings, or he fills the exhibition space with inflatable, cumbersome modules, which force the viewer to rethink classical spatial perception. His minimal or obsessive interventions make use of an invasive strategy, which underscores the characteristics of the space and – because they are so obtrusive – simultaneously causes these to disappear altogether.
Gallery Website: WWW.VILLA-KOEPPE.DE