Patric Sandri's soloshow at Direktion Bern.

Patric Sandri: "Reflektionen" / "Réflexions"
21 February - 31 July 2024
Direktion Bern, Die Mobilia, Bern


The window motif in painting, in art history, but also today in the age of digitalisation, has changed greatly over the course of time, both in terms of representation and content. Windows as viewing windows today Screens and monitors - an image medium that transports information, fiction and also shifted realities and data. A metaphor for a window in today’s media world is the television, computer or smartphone as a window to the world. How can this motif, but also the content, especially digital images, be abstracted, reified and materialised accordingly?
The window is understood as a symbol of the human situation. The window as an essential motif in painting enjoys such great popularity because the spatial situations depicted would hardly be possible in this form without the light entering through a window. Windows determine moods, situations and their depictability. Art’s concern to convey a view of the world that differs from time to time from the one we are used to is made clear by the theme of the window picture. The views framed by a window are to be understood as a representation of the outside world on an optical level with all kinds of perceptions. The inner gaze finds an anchor in the outer world. The picture as a window into the world replaced by a canvas opens up thematic fields and stimulates discussion. It has become self-evident that the window should ideally open up a view. A view from the window is like looking at a painting and a view into a painting is like looking out of a window. The elements of the picture play a central role in Patric Sandri’s work: the colours, the fabric, the stretcher frame and the struts, which are normally concealed by the canvas and have the function of stabilising the stretcher frame. The work groups shown in the exhibition are based on digital screenshots from Instagram stories, as well as the framing, the grid-like internal structure and blinds of the real window, as well as translucency and transparency. These thus became an artistic experiment with the limits of perception and cognition.
For the works on the exterior walls „Untitled (VWS)“, Sandri worked with very transparent curtain fabrics in the colours red, blue and yellow, which are stretched and overlapped, similar to a weaving process. This overlapping is comparable to the glazing and layering of colour in painting. The fabrics are attached to wooden stretcher bars that are visually concealed. The overlapping of the red, yellow and blue fabrics creates new colour mixtures and the very fine weave creates a moiré that appears to move with the movement of the viewer. This movement of the viewer is an integral aesthetic component of the work. The moiré effect and the 16:9 image formats refer to the digital surfaces of screens, computers and smartphones. In this respect, these works in a way “materialise” the process of digital image creation, illustrate the properties of the material used and convey the impression of uncertainty, of “perceptual inconsistency”. In this sense, these works are simultaneously abstract paintings and images or objects of abstraction. The image changes depending on the position and perspective of the viewer: by involving the viewer, the perception within the «image» becomes essential, directly linked to the reality of human experience. Movement becomes a painterly tool, with the image and perspective constantly changing. This creates a dialogue between image, place and viewer. In the works in the interior „Untitled (ReflectionVWS)“, Sandri explores the media and formal conditions of painting, space and sculpture, with which he initiates the discourse of perception and seeing and thematises the relationships between art and design, as well as living space and the white cube. All the works in the interior relate in colour to the works placed in the same place and in the same format on the outside, which can thus also be understood as «afterimages» of the exterior works.
At the beginning of each work there is a systemic colour system defined by Sandri in the neon pigments red, yellow and blue, which he applies to the hidden inner edges of the stretcher frame, which then often mix and radiate a shimmer of colour from the wall behind the painting. Instead of the traditional canvas, Sandri stretches the frame in a translucent voile fabric so that the colour shines through and seems to float in an illusory space that enjoys its apparent independence from the voile and the wall. The chosen neon pigmentation - neon pigments are larger than other colour pigments and therefore generate a veritable intrinsic luminosity in the room - creates an additional illusory space that opens up a further level of objecthood. This results in works that are monochrome paintings on the one hand, but can also be understood as sculptural wall elements. Sculptural works are created in addition to the wall pieces. Patric Sandri also works with a systemic principle. The starting point for their relationships are the formats of the wall works, the room dimensions and also the neon colour pigments in yellow, red and blue. With this fixed set, a kind of fragmentary building block box, he explores the various possibilities of combination and thus creates settings that remain ambiguous in their appearance and functionality but can also be used as furniture. As if by themselves, the neon colours on the undersides of the wooden panels shine onto the other wooden elements and reflect light from seemingly unknown origins. The carpet, the furniture elements and the linoleum element at the passageway in the room refer to a living space in which Le Corbusier plays an important role as a reference to the materials and


Text: Ismene Wyss, Curator, Die Mobilia