Text by Anna Redeker
It is Claus Lehmann’s declared objective to create art that refers to nothing else but itself. He employs the paints in his images both as a means of representation and as the representation itself.
It is in this way that he creates, for example, white monochrome paintings on canvas, the complexity of which only reveals itself on closer inspection – subtle variations in the intensity of the applied paint produce shapes and shadows that refer repeatedly to the spaces beyond.
The images become pictorial the longer they’re viewed – because the structures and shapes enter into an interrelationship with their surroundings as they vary with the play of light and the viewer’s perspective.
These interactions allow even smaller-scale works to develop an impact – in the ones here, for example, the artist has used large pieces of graphite to cover entire surfaces in such a way as to produce iridescent and reflective structures that appear to flow across the work.
Claus Lehmann enhances these effects with the help of specific moments of installation – the works in the current exhibition are, for instance, being shown against dark backgrounds and the way the light enters from outside has been incorporated into how the works are being presented.
It is in this way that the pure White Cube as the self-restrained platform for the art is negated thus allowing the external world to flow into the works of art themselves.
The materials that Claus Lehmann employs are also entirely in keeping with the avant-garde concept of the convergence of art with actual life.
His materials are not removed from the real world but are used and consumed – thus creating signs of wear and tear that remain visible and that are intentionally utilised. It is in this way that works of art are created that interact with their surroundings without the intention, however, of appending any further meaning to them.