Michael Bach Urban Landscapes

Press Release

Opening Reception: Friday, January 23, 2015, 6pm – 10pm
Exhibition through: April 25, 2015 

At the end of the 1980s, the international world of art was introduced to the works of Michael Bach by the exhibition “Landschaften/Landscapes” at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf. In this exhibition, Raimund Stecker explored the present and the future of the traditional landscape subject and invited Michael Bach, Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte, Michael van Ofen and Andreas Schön to present their take on new points of view.

From the End of January to the end of April 2015, the Heinz-Martin Weigand Gallery presents works by Michael Bach from the last 3 decades.

Michael Bach's works feature views of cities, houses and groups of buildings and presents insights into train stations and building sites. Taking photographed images as their basis, the views take on the appearance of model cities during the painting process. Using seemingly realistic paintings, whose preformed point of departure is a technical view arrived at with the help of photographs, Bach creates new aesthetic structures, which are turned into ideal landscapes.

Neither documentary depiction, as in architectural painting, nor hyperrealism are of any interest to the artist. Photographs function solely as sketches. The paintings give rise to new and self-composed objects, which render the seeming realism inanimate. Any details which Bach considers unworthy are condensed afresh in the painting. People and life itself are now only present in the shape of the constructed architecture, which is in this way turned into a relic.

By using predominantly muted colours and reducing colourfulness Bach creates an otherworldly atmosphere. This is how Hans-Ulrich Obrist put it when he compared Bach's paintings with the theatre stage of Paul Delvaux. In his paintings, smooth surfaces appear rigorous and anonymous. Michael Bach is concerned with the painterly aspects and the contemporary conditions and potential of the medium of painting.

Bach constructs urban life with its apparent obviousness in an expressive, painterly fashion. In this way, the distance to the objects is not spatial but atmospheric, arrived at using the means of painting.

The traditional urban space is questioned or even presented in an exaggerated way, public space is accentuated. The newly created views are turned into stage backdrops, emitting a stable turmoil.

Martin Hentschel spoke of a world without noise which functions akin to a world which has been taken out of service.

Michael Bach was born in Sehma in the Erz Mountains in 1953. He studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1975 to 1983; 1975-79 with Norbert Tadeusz at the Münster department, 1979-83 with Gerhard Richter. He was a Meisterschüler of Gerhard Richter. Bach lives and works in Düsseldorf.