MASCH | -The Past is Now-


solo exhibition at janinebeangallery

February 2nd – April 13th, 2024, opening reception on February 2nd from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m

MASCH, who was born in the Rhineland in 1950 and studied painting at the UdK in Berlin in the 1970s, has successfully exhibited his works nationally and internationally for many years. He was also active as a musician and in this capacity also worked for the Bavaria Film Studios in Munich. He eventually incorporated his skills as a painter into his work for the film world. The film then won an Oscar in 2015 for his work as an art painter for the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.
The exhibition „The Past is Now“ presents the latest series of works by the artist MASCH for the first time. In the works of the series, the figures and forms against abstract backgrounds are divided into polygons and relatively homogeneous surfaces. These fields are characterized and distinguished by both monochrome colors and uniform textures, and their contours follow an overarching geometry of shapes. This results in a seamless and nested arrangement, which means that the different shapes and forms are separated like tiles, as well as connected and interwoven. Without color gradients, the silhouettes appear to be embedded in one another. The figures, objects and backgrounds in MASCH’s works are in a magical flow and juxtaposition, in direct connection and reciprocity.
In this sense, MASCH’s two-dimensional formal language and semiotics are rooted in the tradition of simplification and reduction as in cubism for example. This is another reason why it would be a mistake to confuse his clarity and precision of expression with naivety. MASCH is free from such role models in his particular style, not least because of a noticeable, greater lightness and a confident, but also undogmatic expression. This sovereignty is noticeably developed and is the result of a thorough finding. In their clear formal language, MASCH’s figures combine an enigmatic simplicity similar to that of archaic geoglyphs with humor and a desire to tell stories straight from everyday life. Strange gestures and symbols are naturally coupled with human closeness and down-to-earthness. This makes MASCH’s works as accessible as they are multi-layered and, especially in this combination, extremely fascinating.
text: Matthias Bergemann