Paul Schwer is a painters' painter, concerning himself solely with the relationship between color, space, light and movement. The result, however is far removed from the traditional two dimensional canvas. Schwer's output varies in scale dramatically. His work ranges from vast installations, filling public spaces, galleries and unused buildings, to smaller, discrete objects affixed to plinths, walls and ceilings. Schwer transforms the flat picture plane of abstract painting into a three-dimensional space. He employs light, both artificial and natural, through transparent materials, focusing the viewer's gaze on the gestural application of paint as in traditional abstraction - an approach that has been described as the spatialisation of colour.
Smaller works, such as the recent Bao series, begin as flat Plexiglas plates painted with broad-brush strokes of coloured pigment. Then, in one transient moment, through high heat and considerable force, they are spun, twisted and folded into complex labyrinthine structures. In this brief action, the two-dimensional gestural picture plane is transformed into a three dimensional body of color that captures the performativity of its making. Within larger works, paint, colored plastic, and pigmented latex are juxtaposed with neon lighting and cables. These structures aggressively assimilate and colonise their environment, transforming them with their luminous presence and colourful tentacles. Each work seemingly expanding like chaotic scaffolding that is freestanding, yet on the verge of bursting asunder under its own weight.
Paul Schwer, b. 1951. Major exhibitions include Lichtskulptur für das Rheinland (solo), Clemens-Sels Museum Neuss, Germany (2016); Paul Schwer: Caddesi (solo), Galerie Heinz Holtmann, Cologne, Germany (2016); The shape of things to come (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2015); Licht auf Waldboden (solo), Städtische Galerie, Essen, Germany (2015); Paul Schwer (solo), Museum Biedermann, Donaueschingen, Germany (2014); Spot on 6, Istanbul Diary: Tour- Retour (solo), Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Home (solo), IKOB, Museum for Contemporary Art, Eupen, Belgium (2013); Das Fruchtfleisch Unserer Architektur, Galeri Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany (2013); Travelling Light, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen, Germany (2013), and Big Baos, Galerie Heinz Holtmann, Cologne, Germany (2012). Schwer has been the recipient of awards and scholarships including the 1995 Cité des Arts, Paris, France; Artist in Residence at Degussa Shanghai, China (2005-06); 2009 Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, Germany; Residency Istanbul, Kunststiftung, NRW (2015), and he is visiting Professor at the Munster Art Academy (2016). Major public collections holding his work include Deutsche Bank Collection, Germany; Museum Kunstpalast, Germany; NRW State Representation, Belgium; and Siemens Collection, Germany.
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