Bartha Contemporary is delighted to announce two coinciding exhibitions of recent works by German artist Frank Gerritz (b. 1964) at Bartha Contemporary in London and the Sleeper Art-Space in Edinburgh. The London exhibition (May 13 – July 2) will include two new pencil drawings on MDF alongside recent drawings on paper, the Edinburgh exhibition (May 13 – June 10) will showcase a single installation of a four-panel oil paint-stick on anodised aluminium work.
For the past two decades, Gerritz has applied layers upon layers of graphite using soft Faber Castell 9B pencil marks on walls, paper and, as is the case in this instance, industrially manufactured MDF panels. “Definition of Space | Four Center Connection (spread my wings)” the key work in this exhibition and probably Frank Gerritz’s most ambitious work on MDF to date, evolves from a concentred composition. Two elemental forms of opposing forces, placed side by side are separated by a devising line, formulate this seminal work.
Gerritz’s MDF drawings render light and modulate it to such an extent that the experience is akin to moving into a sculptural space. Similarly, the artist’s works on anodized aluminium encompass a genuinely physical experience. Here the metal support turned into a body of light, at the same time offset and articulated by dark black areas of oil paint-stick, drawn onto the cool anodised aluminium surface. In this instance composed over four panels, “Temporary Ground I Territory I The Sleeper” exhibited in Edinburgh is spaced precisely along its horizontal axis. The initially flat appearance of the works pulls the viewer to its sides, revealing its three-dimensional composition. The work appears to float at a carefully calibrated distance from the wall, the resulting shadow-gap further elevating the sculptural nature of the piece.
Frank Gerritz has been exhibiting globally since the late 1980’s, more recently a series of institutional exhibitions in Europe confirmed his invaluable contribution to contemporary art discourse. In 2007, the American art critic and poet Donald Kuspit called the artist “The Last Abstract Hardliner”, a title he doubtlessly retains to the present day.
Frank Gerritz is a sculptor. A sculptor, however, who for years has developed his sculptural ideas
principally in the form of drawings that nonetheless emanate a markedly space-encompassing energy. Using a Faber Castell 9B pencil, the artist places layer upon layer of graphite onto the smooth surface of industrially manufactured MDF panels.
The different hatching results in a precise mesh of lines that lends the painting initial structure.
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