FALZ painting

Jochen Mühlenbrink
….”Jochen Mühlenbrink’s current works are sheer trompe
l’oeil. They toy with the effects of this type of illusionistic
painting, not with an eye to spectacular virtuosity but in homage
to the unspectacular: the building blocks of events. They
are devoted to the phenomena of the periphery and contingency,
things of not particularly tragic importance. They evoke
precisely those things we generally tend to overlook because
they do not seem to deserve attention. Yet as soon as we begin
to pay attention to what we overlooked, it paradoxically becomes
How concrete and how abstract to the point of disappearance
in the apparently invisible this can be, would be demonstrated
in Mühlenbrink’s subsequent show at the De Groen
Fine Art Collection in Arnheim, following that in Oldenburg. 
There, two of his large-scale works were installed in opposite,
mirror-image rooms such that they stood face to face across
an imposing atrium.R In one, light from a window cast a scaffolding
of shadow diagonally across a group of white, empty
canvases. Opposite this appeared a depiction of a fogged
window pane with the same shadow pattern “in painting” in
reverse, in front of a bright, spacious landscape. Where was
the source of light and shadow located? Was it, as in Plato’s
cave, part of reality or merely a figment of the imagination?
With great aplomb and generosity, this installation inquired
into the susceptibility of us viewers to temptation thanks to our
virtually metaphysical trust in light. By this point, the paintings
themselves seemed to go missing, with only empty canvases
left to mark their absence in the exhibition. This they
shared in common with the Bilder einer Ausstellung [Pictures
at an Exhibition] in the Freiburg show. Our movement through
and into the space triggered a productive lust in seeing, further
enhanced by Mühlenbrink’s subtle humor and enjoyment of
visual invention. Between mimicry and insight into the self,
his waiver of painting proves to be an abundance of painting.
Long live painting! “
Uit: Thomas Hirsch:
Aura of the Periphery
Continuities in the Painting
of Jochen Mühlenbrink
FALZ painting