May 31 - July 12, 2008
To paint a painting or to figurate abstraction situates Florian Schmidt in a singular observational position, he becomes a documentary-makers of his own practice. The avant gardist vocabulary that he employs possesses its own intrinsic power ; their tensions of abstraction and of perspective beg a materialization of works. In trying to follow and encompass their consequences, Florian Schmidt practices an economy of reuse. In 2008, the tropes of the avant gardes have lost their intimidating powers and coercions. His canvases are repainted, sewn together, transformed into sculptures that cannibalize one another. Modernism thus becomes a generator of infinite possibilities, a personal ecosystem.
Florian Schmidt interprets theories, methods, manners intuitively and loosely—aesthetic constants obviously abound : the multiplicity of « repeint » superposed layers of colors gives a crepuscular aspect to his paintings, as if they had already aged. One cannot help but recall the superimposition of subjects revealed by X-rays in old masters’ works. Florian Schmidt chooses materials whose overriding criteria is neutrality, atemporality : canvas, acrylic, plaster, wool—he draws using outdated, recovered graphite. The concept of
a manipulated neutrality doubles upon itself in the propensity for detail, antlike, a richness suggesting perhaps the nostalgic.
In this burgeoning, this fragility, and the added discipline of voluntarily rejecting effective solutions, Florian Schmidt unearths a matrix thoroughly European. Retroactively, far from the dogmatic imperatives of the time and from historic simplifications, the birth of modern art can be considered as an initiative of alternative possibilities.
All images are ©Aurelien Mole.