The White Series
April 30 - June 10, 2005
Hermann Lederles new show of his Silence Paintings, the White Series 2004, at the Solaris Gallery is called Now You See It, but its just as appropriate to call it now you dont. He is a master of obfuscation, painting layer upon layer of oil paint incorporated with wax over a gold leaf grid, forcing himself and the viewer into an emotionally charged process of discovery. I paint to find what I am looking for, says Lederle, photography is a moment captured in time, my paintings work in an opposite way as revelations sometimes they reveal something that was there all along, and sometimes you see in them something brand new, and in seeing what is new, something else entirely comes through, a fossil buried and exposed through the various layers. In my paintings you can feel the sense of my life.
Through the blizzard of paint, Lederle evolves the history of his art: the quick charcoal life drawings of his years at the San Francisco Art Institute, their transformation into his blurred oil stick paintings, to his discovery of gold leaf, with its definite high contrast surface, applied in grids that literally trap his expressionistic figures bodies, faces, fish and birds -- within a pattern of golden pixels. I dont capture what I see, he says, I capture what I feel I see.
In his white paintings, Lederle continues to deal with the figure, liberating and imprisoning it simultaneously, and then sending it into dynamic, turbulent motion through the introduction of circular layers atop the gold-leaf grid, playing background against foreground in a perpetual tug-of-war with the eye of the viewer. His paintings shift and transform with fluctuations in the light, and the hidden figures, fighting for air, for space, for dominance -- a pentimento forgotten images, surfaces, feelings and music set free as much by what Lederle leaves out as by what consciously has placed there. If you really abstract a shape so much, says Lederle, the imagination of the viewer does the work. I dont want to impose a message on my paintings. I see them as a catalyst. The images I want you to see in what I do are your own.