Frank Nitsche (Germany, 1964) is a leading representative of German postmodern abstraction. Tied to the Dresden school of painting, his works are inspired by an imaginary archive of images, the translation, and the appropriation of which becomes the point of departure for the artist’s work. Some images reach the canvas by choice, others by chance. Their bearing varies and transforms in time. What enters the canvas at one point classified as highly relevant, might in a split of a second be painted over, or disappear entirely under multiple layers of paint – under fragments of other images, the hierarchy, and relevance of which is in continuous flux. The applied aesthetic of so-called planlessness, results in an immediacy of layout and a freedom of the painterly gesture. What appears to be a complex technical drawing is a spontaneous labyrinth of constructs, lines, fields, bends, crossings, intervals, and overlaps, characteristic for their pictogram-like compression. Executed without a prior drawing or any sketch, the painting is a result of a lengthy process of spontaneous outbursts, interlocked with periods of suspension.
Part of a series of works, ZOB–14–2017, (2017), for which a deformation of architectural elements and pictogramic compressions becomes characteristic, the work bears a strong emphasis on the element of its flatness, thus blurring the Euclidian space, by a conjunction of heterogeneous perspectives. Reminiscent of deformed architecture, through the painting’s gesture, Nitsche echoes some of the formal aspects of Russian Constructivism. However, the work’s saturation with pictorial references, instrumentalized by a synthetic appearance, connects these works instead with the politics of contemporary image production and consumption.