Arne Schreiber - folgen @ Galerie koal

Photos courtesy of Galerie koal

If you are not familiar with Arne Schreiber and his work, and you are trying to find out something about the artist by googling his name, all you will see are stripes in many variations - a basic, but overpowering element of his oeuvre. 

No wonder; if black is the new black - and it always will be the simplest yet most powerful statement, then stripes come as the second best. Since the dawn of minimalism, simplicity has been praised for so many qualities. On the most banal level: in black and white stripes, for example, there is the pure contrast and repetition, which results in orderliness and clarity. Something that the pattern-seeking mind is drawn to, and the heart can relate to, while repeatedly giving the same beat. Looking at this kind of pattern gives us certain pleasure, and the tiniest deviations in it can cause excitement.

This pattern is omnipresent in our everyday life, and usually the lines in it are all the same, straight, pure, machine-made. In his paintings, Arne Schreiber distorts it and redirects the lines on the canvas, while they are also being distorted by the unintentionally imperfect movement of the hand, and the features of the used materials and the surfaces - the brush, the paint, the canvas, and the wall. The paintings in Schreiber's exhibition, although seemingly devoid of content, actually have a lot of movement, lots of action, which we do not necessarily see at first, if we do not start from a blank page, a meditative state of mind cleared from the visual pollution.


Arne Schreiber has been putting countless parallel lines on different surfaces for more than ten years now, and in this exhibition, he introduced a new motif in oil on canvas, as well as a drawing on the wall made with markers. What makes the exhibition especially exciting and unique are the long invasive trunk-halves of a maple tree. They are positioned on the floor of the gallery room, more or less diagonally, so that they divide the room in two halves, thus engaging the space into this geometrical play. They also act as barrier, and directly affect the use of the space and modify its perception. The barrier disables scattered wandering, and structures certain paths. The precise cut in the middle of the tree gives its organic form more of a straightened, clean appearance that acts as a counterpart to the lines on the canvases and the wall - as if the trunk halves are those exact lines magnified - with a bumpy layer of human interference.

My first and greatest impression of the exhibition "folgen" was that it feels complete. At the opening of the show, standing in the room filled with movement and chatter, I could not really tell what is it that makes me feel as if it should be exactly the way it is, without anything to be added or substracted. It really requires from you to turn down all of the visual noise around you, and slowly appreciate and enjoy each of the elements, one at a time, to finally see what makes it so interesting as a whole. 

The exhibition runs through 05.07 / more info

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