PM/AM are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in the UK by the German-American artist Stefan Behlau.
BANZAI finds its roots in Behlau’s earlier monolithic painting series Nova Color, named after the American brand of prefabricated industrial acrylic paint he uses in his work. Influenced by the found aesthetic of Nova Color’s product sample cards, the artist sought to capture and document his own relationships to colour constructing a workshop in his studio and importing the paint product from California especially to do so. Reducing the painterly gesture to a minimum, the paintings at first appear to be almost entirely
the product of chance. The works –which could be related to American colour-field paintings— are likened by the artist to print making, or a printing program with a rigid set of parameters. And while there is no fixed expectation of what the final painting will look like, each work is meticulously planned over a period of weeks, the colours carefully selected, then executed in an evanescent moment of time.
The work we find in BANZAI, is a continuation of the processes seen in his last exhibition Gush and see the artist take a more playful approach to his composing. Exploring a wider spectrum of sources, we find the artist deconstructing the research gathered over a period of months, stretching colours across his canvases to create a rhythmic topography that alternates areas of thick colour with thin, barely discernible layers. The resulting cascades of vivid and sometimes pure colours radiate a stark and physical presence, created entirely from the paint’s response to minute variations in the texture of the canvas, the colours visible on the surface — a direct result of their fusion.