In his fourth solo exhibition at Leo Koenig Inc., Torben Giehler presents a series of new paintings. He explores new pictorial solutions by combining traditional painting with digital encoding and techniques of construction. He creates vibrating rhythmical grids of color that are made of zigzag lines and angular shapes that are sometimes superimposed thus evoking an element of time and space.
At first Giehler’s paintings may seem overwhelming as the viewer gets caught in an abstract geometric maze of lines that suddenly change direction or seem to immediately stop until the eye of the beholder can fight its way through to recognizable spatial worlds. Line and color segments evoke structures that simulate digital networks or new urban spaces.
Giehler’s reference to landscape painting is less evident in this show. In his new work, colors follow an abstract logic that is defined in each painting, revealing illusions of depth and creating compositions that resemble sectional views of four-dimensional hypercubes. Eventually the viewer is always brought back to the surface of the canvas. Giehler’s painting language has expanded, ranging from thin transparent areas where the underpainting is still visible to saturated opaque layers. This method evokes a wider variety of emotional responses similar to music.
The album “Head for the Shallow” from the grunge band Big Business inspired all of the works in this show. With colors and lines he is painting visual metaphors to their energetic and raw sounds. Abstract painters like Kandinsky and Mondrian were fascinated by music’s emotional and suggestive qualities. Music expresses itself through sound and time allowing the listener a freedom of imagination that is not based on the literal or descriptive, but in the abstract. In that sense Giehler is deeply rooted in the origins of abstract painting.
Torben Giehler is currently participating in the exhibition Like Color in Pictures at the Aspen Art Museum, CO. He has shown extensively in Europe and the US. His work has been included in many prestigious group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, New Orleans Museum of Art, Chelsea Art Museum in New York, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Germany. In 2005, his work was selected for the Prague Biennale 2 and Greater New York at PS 1. In 2003 Giehler had a solo exhibition at the Centro de Arte in Salamanca, Spain.