Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Dirk Rathk

‘Flic Flac’ (12/1)’, - MDF and adhesive foil
43.5” x 9” x 3” inches

ModernHouston.net repost of my article October 27, 2012

Once again I am compelled to write about what is on the walls at Gallery Sonja Roesch, and who could blame me with such impeccable taste they possess. Like Dirk Rathk, this month's offering of Dieter Balzer is pure minimalist candy to my eyes. Balzer lives and works in Berlin and I think his art relates quite well with the Texas minimalist artists.

Instantly, the work of Frank Stella came to mind. Dieter Balzer has really refined and tamed the constructed paintings Stella innovated into hard edge works that pop with bright colors, and will engage you with a calming effect of geometry. Balzer layers the pieces to overlap while creating tension with his colorful stripes. I think Balzer manages to produce a little more energy and excitement than Stella, while creating small and more restrained pieces.

“Papilio (sw2)” is an epic piece of near perfect symmetry buried in stripes of colors, which make you question the difference of both sides. I start to compare one to the other and I found a few, but then I started looking at the color relationships and how he spaced the lines to create his stripes. Like the movie Tron, lines seem to move fast across the surface, while smashing into other lines. Balzer’s grids remind me of the bright playful colors of the geometry obsessive MADI artists, although Balzer manages to stay a little off kilter when representing straight geometry. In many of the works, the painted lines trick the eye to make the geometry not quite fit. The piece “Konjunktion linear,” the lines seem to dance back and forth at odd angles.

I see a bit of theater deco flare in works like “Mesa,” and “Flic Flac (12/1),” the center composition draws you in and sends your eyes in both directions, much like a marquee once did. But the real show is the crisp lines. I was happy to see that prints are available of the “Papilio” work. I think Balzer’s work translates well in photographic form. The photo features an image of the work surrounded by a vast amount of white space, then further surrounded by a white frame.

Gallery Sonja Roesch will be exhibiting Dieter Balzer’s work until October 27th. For me, this was a must see show, and the gallery is on my must visit list when I make my hops across the art scene.

ModernHouston.net for more images.

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