Flicking through the last issue of ARTFORUM I came across this not known to me German painter. Burkhard Held (b. 1953) lives and works in Berlin. He’s been exhibiting persistently and widely for the last few decades.
His “Roter Berg” from 2008 – oil on canvas, conventional size, yet another application of the neo-expressionist language. Yet, it has the potential to catch the attention, not merely due to the exuberant, affirmative palette which looks confident comparing to many other propositions from the same trend. The portrayed scape conveys the impression of stability, self-assurance despite of the patchy construction and nervously wobbly marks – the imposed, inner discipline puts a form and an order on this would-be pictorial anarchy.
Held’s work seems to explore the phenomena of a form and formlessness, integrity and a collapse, an existence and a hypothesis – and while some of his paintings appear to be deliberately suspended on the verge of ‘melting down’ (in a very fashionable today pictorial ‘explosion’ of shapes, spaces, meanings) there is a struggle to be appreciated – a fight for a structure and a sense; which both remain an endangered species in the contemporary art in general and in painting in particular.
To see artist’s page (in German) – Burkhard Held
Till February 21st, 2009 Michael Schultz Gallery in Berlin hosts the exhibition of the latest paintings of this artist.
Art Forum International is a well-edited monthly magazine featuring tens of oncoming and current art exhibitions and shows from around the world. Recommended to buy from time to time for the record-value, to visit online – ARTFORUM.