Manfred Peckl's solo exhibition at Galeria Kai Erdmann in Hamburg.

Manfred Peckl: ja nein
May 3 - July 27, 2019
Galeria Kai Erdmann, Hamburg


Manfred Peckl - Yes No

In the 1930’s, Victor Vasarely experimented with figurative representation and discovered the zebra for his art. Vasarely used the motif, free of limiting outlines, repeatedly to evoke spatial volume and dynamics in his pictures. The zebra motif served him well while developing his late vocabulary of geometric abstractions, used for optical illusions and researching the perception of structures and contrasts based on visual experience.

Manfred Peckl’s new black and white stripe pictures can certainly be read as reminisces of op-art, however he counters their fundamental method: Peckl leaves the spatial illusion, which was so important to Vasarely, to the side and takes us directly into his hypnotic swirl of realities. Appendages, breasts, noses, haircuts, everything originating from the form of the drop, which contain the blueprint for everything and nothing. Figures pop up and draw back into the surface. Forms flow away instead of pop out into three dimensions. The gaze wants to arrest quivering the shapes, but they are instead absorbed into the whole. The act of recognition becomes strenuous and ends in madness. Peckl takes the viewer’s control of seeing away.

The dual-sex bone creatures come from the movement of the colored pencil. Born of color puddles and multiple colored threads, they finally find their way into Peckl’s black and white pictures. To make these, he glues strip upon strip of shredded posters into reliefs onto canvases, then sealed with a layer of protective varnish. This opens the picture’s surface to other kinds of materiality as well as unreal sensual impressions. Different levels of perception flow into each other. Flickering superimposed on flickering.

Peckl describes his method as “Painting by other means”. He shreds and, in a sense, liquifies his industrial prefabricated starting material, erasing the effigy of reality it once contained by conveying it into its mediated essence. Like an alchemist, the artist transforms solid into fluid aggregate states. Material drains in the flow of forms and from the soup of the imagination new worlds and identities are made. Life is renewed through destruction. With this strategy of composing pictures, he references a topos from art history: the act of painting has been compared to coitus and the creation of new life since antiquity. Peckl creates androgynous archetypes. Their gender polarity synthesizes transformative potential into an alter ego. Thus Jason is connected to the unbreakable bond with Sonja, Ali becomes Lia and Anja finds her second self in Jan.

They call you with their snake eyes and circular mouths! Follow the feverish vibrations of the lines and surrender to the dripping figures. The reflection of the visible flutters and jitters. Man, woman, black, white, darkness, light, death, life, yes, no. Flickering resonates as visual echo of doubt in the face of an unstable reality.

Anka Ziefer
Leipzig, April 2019


Lection according the exhibition "ja nein":