Christoph Kern uses old master knowledge of the material of painting with almost scientific obsessiveness to ‚breed cubes’.
In his investigations Christoph Kern follows different tracks: cubes imploding in space, gyrating in science – fiction – like structures that evoke connotations like Star Wars or Kubrick’s 2001. Or monolithic cubes that seem to all but eliminate pictorial space in their attempt to push towards and overflow the edges. And, most recently, a focus on futuristic landscapes that appear to have been generated by the cubes themselves, yet in which the cubes tend more towards dissolution.
Kern’s paintings are an accumulated history of their own making. The paintings are worked up in many layers, beginning with the initial scenario under investigation, setting the scene. With each progressive layer the cubes’ evolution, their growth, colour, position and movement in space as well as their realtionship towards each other is traced, the positions at which they arrive are tested and pushed towards a point at which the image can rest. This stage is documented before the painting process continues. Pentimenti and animated films show the different stages of one painting’s transformation and are a way for the viewer to share in the painting’s evolution.
What makes Kern’s paintings powerful is that in the end the paintings generate meaning by evoking specific situations and depicting very particular worlds that seem utterly convincing, sometimes even familiar, even though they originate in the purlely formal and abstract.
(by Nikola Irmer)