Norbert Fleischmann I Jo Schöpfer

Online Exhibition

Norbert Fleischmann I Jo Schöpfer

Every art has an object – whether it is non-representational or representational, threedimensional or planar, sensual or purely conceptual. Jo Schöpfer and Norbert Fleischmann have internalized this premise over more than four decades of their artistic work. The fact that the two artists were born in the same year is pure coincidence. Jo Schöpfer’s works would be described as sculptures in the classical sense, the works of Norbert
Fleischmann as paintings. And yet they are united by a common attitude that breaks up such seemingly unmistakable classifications and makes them the subject of intense artistic debate. Their works are of impressive consistency – each one for itself and even more so in dialogue.

Jo Schöpfer (*1951 in Coburg) lives and works in Berlin. Since the mid-1970s he has been working on the border between sculpture and architecture. The fundamental constant that runs, so to speak, immaterially through his work is space. “Immaterial” because space can only be experienced when it is “formed”. Jo Schöpfer forms space through sculptures and structures, which he realizes as bronze casts: open containers, such as the group of Absinthe sculptures; folded surfaces (zigzag), free-standing on the floor or on pedestals, divide the space like screens. (Reliefs), whose titles refer to boxes or shelves, hang on the wall; next to them, Jo Schöpfer’s fine, mostly watercolored drawings, to which the artist gives a lot of space on the sheet, assert themselves with ease. Formally, one would classify these works as non-representational, but of course they are by no means – certainly not in a static sense. They are representational and present in their captivating clarity. And they constitute a space that necessarily includes us as viewers and keeps us in motion.

Norbert Fleischmann (*1951 in Vienna) lives and works in Langenlois, Lower Austria. His examination of painting could be described as encyclopaedic in a comprehensive sense. For it encompasses the most diverse styles and genres, motifs, painting styles and media influences, even forms of presentation and representation. Norbert Fleischmann groups more recent works around the early key work Malmaterial from 1999, including the painting of a baroque hall of mirrors (heat) or concrete painting refined with gold leaf and framed by a gilded frame (rhodonite). The interior ‘’tappeti e libri’’ seems to be based on a black-and-white photograph, the billowing ornament in iridescente the digital materiality of a computer-generated image. Regardless of whether it is a matter of figurative or non-representational painting, of old-masterly figuration or modern abstraction – there are probably few painters who can hold a candle to Norbert Fleischmann. But he does not celebrate painting as a “hero”, but rather makes the “myth” of painting the subject of his artistic work.

Ralf Christofori