Magnus Plessen

August 26, 2013

A German artist, Magnus Plessen is best known for a painting style that combines additive and subtractive techniques, employing both brush and spatula. Shifting fluidly between abstraction and representation, his works are studies on perception, structure, material and transience.

Born in 1967 in Hamburg, Germany, Plessen currently lives and works in Berlin. He worked for several years as a photographer and filmmaker before turning to painting in the year 2000. He has exhibited around the world, including venues such as the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, Art Institute of Chicago, Espace 315, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21, Düsseldorf, Germany, MoMA PS1, New York, Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal and Sammlung Goetz, Munich. He has participated in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).

Plessen's work is characterized by tactile and expressive brushwork, rendering the subject elusive whilst also confounding any fixed viewpoint. He develops images systematically, using the application and removal of paint to reveal passages of compact form and negative space, a technique which evokes Richter's paintings. Emerging in rigorous and dynamic syncopation, the physicality of the painting is held in constant check by the push and pull of space. His images are characterized by a rhythm and structure that makes them, quite literally, fields of observation.