Michael Post & Heiner Thiel: Vicissitudes of Color

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Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

554 S. Guadalupe St., Santa Fe NM 87501

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A collaborative exhibition, Vicissitudes of Color, featuring German artists Heiner Thiel and Michael Post, will open at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art on August 5 and extend through September 3. An Artist Reception with the artists will be held on Friday, August 26 from 5-7 p.m. The gallery is located in the Railyard Arts District at 554 South Guadalupe Street. 

The world around us is filled with color: Sky, sand, sunflower, stoplight, rust, a painted door, a brilliant sundress, chestnut hair, moss in a streambed. These colors speak to us in wavelengths – enter into our eyes and brains, giving us their own particular information, sparking associations, memories and feelings. But how often do we really pay attention? How many times a day do we pause, stand in front of a fuchsia storefront, a foam-green car, a magenta flower and notice the color itself?

While German artists Heiner Thiel and Michael Post work in fabricated metal, creating sculptural wall-pieces that defy the proscriptions of both painting and sculpture – their true medium is color. With their latest collaborative exhibition, "Vicissitudes of Color," the end-goal of every aspect of the work is to explore the very nature, the mutability and mystery, of color itself. Both artists utilize strict geometries and limitations to their artistic process, but within these bounds they find endless avenues for exploration and permutation. The unusual forms activate the space of the wall, unbalancing the viewer’s preconceptions and therefore allowing them to be truly present with the work – allowing them to see, specifically to see color – in new ways.

Heiner Thiel works with precise calculations, fabricating his aluminum work as geometric pieces cut out of a theoretical sphere. These pieces are mounted so that they gently arc out from the wall. The effect of these shapes is suggestive and intriguing, drawing in the viewer and encouraging them to move around it, to see the work from all sides. The pieces are coated with intense color and their concave shape, seeming to hover outward from the wall, causes the color to shift and mutate with each change in angle. At the very center of each piece the color appears to lift off the surface, hovering beyond the wall, beyond the painting.

Michael Post’s new work challenges the very notion of color and surface. These elegantly curved and bent forms, primarily based on the shape of an ellipse, are mounted at unexpected angles to the wall. Like Thiel’s work, these pieces draw in the viewer, challenging their sense of space and the relationship of the work of art with the wall. Post’s new work often features a black or white forward-facing surface – the action and color of these works is primarily underneath. The backs are painted in brilliant, often florescent, colors which glow – casting colored shadows against the wall. The breaks and curves of the elliptical forms, the contrast between the simple fronts and the brilliant colored backs and shadows, combine to surprise the viewer into sometimes dramatic changes in their perception.

"Vicissitudes of Color" challenges the traditional relationship between painting and wall, between color and painting, and between the viewer and the work of art. As the viewer engages with these pieces, moving and changing angle – colors shift and deepen, hover and flicker, take on subtle character which does not stay still but shifts again – inspiring the viewer to continue to move with it, to see color itself, in all its variations.