Pete, 2006 signed, titled and dated 'Scheibitz 06 Pete' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 118¼ x 74¾in. (300.4 x 189.8cm)
PROVENANCE: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Acquired from the above by the present owner.
EXHIBITED: New York, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Thomas Scheibitz: Blick über ein bewohntes Tal (View Over a Populated Valley), 6 June-30 June 2006.
German artist Thomas Scheibitz's work straddles the boundary between abstraction and representation in an almost precarious manner. Although frequently regarded as post-Cubist likely do to the sculptural and tactile quality of his renderings, it would perhaps be more apt to regard him as post-Constructivist in nature. In a sense, Scheibitz combines the utopian principles and theories of the Bauhaus and Constructivist movements (particularly those of Josef Albers) with a more deconstructed view of modernity, specifically how technology has affected and drives our society. His images of commonplace objects and of structures are presented in a sort of synthetic reality where the banal has been transformed to something far more glamorous.
Each of Scheibitz's paintings will likely contain some sort of recognizable form at its core, and more often than not something one would normally find quite ordinary. The image, however, Scheibitz abstracts just enough that the viewer is left not completely sure of how to identify the subject. In Pete, it seems that he may be presenting us with a tree, or perhaps a flower or even a road sign. He breaks the composition up into rough planes of color in such a way that only the remnants of the original structure are visible. His richly hued paintings present a sort of new utopian vision in a time when perhaps it is needed most. As the artist stated, "I think it could almost be said that the field of utopia has diminished somewhat, perhaps because more and more can now be achieved with technology. A computer can process an idea almost like a magic wand. Today there are so many possible ways of realising every structure, including the most intangible or non-static, of materialising it in some form or other. This becomes increasingly appealing the further you look into and seek forms. From a socio-political perspective, on the other hand, it is perhaps more the case that utopia is on the retreat. Already everything has become very realistic, fewer risks are being taken, and it seems to me that there is much less enthusiasm for that sort of thing." (T. Scheibitz quoted in an Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist reproduced at http://www.artandculture.com/media/show?media_id=84&media_type=TextFile)