Rolf Abendroth's paintings do not show any definable forms; instead, extensive rooms are created through layers and blurrings of the richly applied colours. These appear veiled, transparent, as if the observer can look through the surface into indeterminate spheres. Some spatial indications remind of wide natural landscapes, others of urban sceneries. Sometimes the paintings are condensed into atmospheric spaces of indeterminate nature. The strong contrasts between light and dark open the pictorial space beyond the painting surface. The colour palette of the respective paintings is reduced, whereby Abendroth creates a break through strongly colored interventions. In this way, the dynamic painting gesture turns into a living visual experience and makes the process of creation understandable.
©Dr. Stefanie Lucci, Dr. Stefanie Lucci Art Affairs, www.stefanielucci.com
"Miracle", "Mystery", and "Real Magic". Even the titles of Rolf Abendroth's paintings and series of paintings reveal that his art takes the viewer into mysterious worlds. In dark pictorial spaces, plastic forms appear, bathed in mystical light, reminiscent of humanoid existences, fantastic figures, mythical creatures between dream and reality.
And yet Abendroth's art does not commit itself to representational interpretations. The viewers are free to associate and to see in it everything that is buzzing around in their own heads. This is made possible by a sophisticated painting technique which Abendroth developed himself.
At the center of this process is a tool that Karl Otto Götz (1914-2017) introduced to informal painting more than 70 years ago and that his master student Gerhard Richter brought to a large audience in the documentary film "Painting". Meanwhile, Richter's master student Bernard Lokai taught his master student at the Free Academy of Fine Arts Essen, Rolf Abendroth, how to work with this painting instrument. What is meant is the squeegee (from French racler: to scrape), a kind of
spatula with which the wet paint can be scraped off the canvas.
It's a tool that each of these artists uses in their own unique way. K. O. Götz, for example, first worked with dark paint and paste on a light background, squeegeed what had just been applied out of the picture with a squeegee and with a sweeping gesture, thereby inscribing light negative forms into the dark, calligraphic-looking positive. Richter built huge squeegees in order to move the oil paint, which was applied in several luminous layers, horizontally and vertically on the surface in slow movements and partially scrape it off, and from Bernard Lokai's brightly colored works in mixed media, spatial parts suddenly flash out. On the other hand, it is this three-dimensional illusion, deliberately avoided by K. O. Götz, that Rolf Abendroth masterfully developed.
First, Abendroth applies several layers of acrylic paint to the canvas, limiting himself to a maximum of three colors, starting with bright tones and choosing a dark nuance as the top one. He then works the squeegee into the wet paint so that, depending on the angle and the pressure with which he applies his tool, bright, even surprisingly luminous areas appear. These reveal the structure of the canvas in the brightest areas, while the color that has been pushed away forms dark, three-dimensional contours at their edges.
The momentum of the squeegee movement balances curves and creates transitions and shading that appear to model three-dimensional bodies. Layers of paint are torn open with the squeegee, thereby opening up spaces. This is a process guided by chance, in which forms gradually emerge from the surface and which the artist continues alternating between construction and destruction until the result convinces him.
Rolf Abendroth's art is neither mimetic nor abstract, but purely creative. He does not imitate nature and he does not abstract from it, rather he creates something new through experimentation. And not just fictitious organisms, but a whole magical world.
©Dr. Barbara Steingiesser
Rolf Abendroth lives and works in Düsseldorf
2014 - 2019
2010 - 2013
2010 - 2012
Study free art, painting and grafic art the Free Academy of Fine Arts Essen
Class Bernard Lokai - diploma and master student
Study of art history, Kunsthistorisches Institut University of Cologne
Study Art/Design, Institute of Art and Art Theory, University of Cologne