Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck: Crystal Palace

René Luckhardt – Kristallpalast

03.07.2013 – 10.08.2013

Galerie Bernd Kugler is delighted to present René Luckhardt’s fifth solo exhibition in Innsbruck. All of the exhibited large-scale works were created in 2013 and mark a new stage in the work of the Swiss-German painter. While for his earlier works, the term Kellerloch plays a central part, the concept of the Kristallpalast, or Crystal Palace, as its opposite, is now taking its place.

From a historical point of view, the Crystal Palace is a topos that has established itself as an allegory of brilliant progress since Joseph Paxton’s gigantic glass and steel building for the 1851 World Exhibition in London. Dostoyevsky transfers the term into world literature , where it becomes an emblem of the criticism of that same optimism of progress. Subsequently, the glass or crystal architecture becomes an inspiration for innumerable authors, architects, artists, and stage directors, from Wenzel Hablik, Bruno Taut, the brothers Hans and Wassili Luckhardt, Mies van der Rohe, or Sergei Eisenstein’s planned but never finished Hollywood production – the Glass House project, to Peter Sloterdijk, and Swarovski.

René Luckhardt transfers the idea of the Crystal Palace onto man in painting; as an allegory of infinite self reflection in abstract colorfulness, making full use of the body. Human Monotypes is the term the artist uses to describe his body prints on specially prepared canvas; to him, “a most direct way of painting”, while at the same time “an indirect, gloriously outdated printing technique”, beyond any mechanical seriality and personal manufactory. These portrayals of the artist are now geometrically dancing across the canvas in all variations of groundless floating; submerged in a sensual surface texture that substantially defines the painting and that “one wants to touch with one’s eyes” (sic!). The texture can be traced back to a technique called Pentimento (pl. Pentimenti) – elevations and traces stemming from overlying layers of paint, a typical characteristic of René Luckhardt’s earlier Kellerloch Paintings. This time, however, in the Kristallpalast, nothing has been overpainted. It only appears to have been.

Dr. A.C. Uhl

Comments are closed.