The Los Angeles-based, Austrian artist Markus Bacher places his artistry somewhere between abstraction and figuration, not explicitly gravitating towards neither of the two. His style is described as an allowance for both artistic expressions to emerge one from another, and to complement each other. The works showcased at Contemporary Fine Art gallery in Berlin are his most recent large-scale works that consist of two or more panels, contemporary editions of diptychs and triptychs with a bold combination of color and grayscale counterparts.
Bacher’s art can be described as a discussion with landscape. That being said, we may also remind ourselves that, especially nowadays, landscapes are not only defined as incidents generated by nature. They often involve objects and other outcomes of human impact as well, whether we regard busy urban landscapes or empty roads of the West Coast. Although he previously sought inspiration in nature of the West Coast, the ocean and the prairies, his new works give that broader overview of a landscape, apparently illustrating bits and pieces of his current home – Los Angeles. Allegedly, his style is also influenced by prolific Californian artists, but Veit Loers insists that Bacher’s painting is simply “too idiosyncratic, to be reduced to influences”.
According to Loers, once again, Bacher addresses painting as another form of speech, and also adds that his speech is a bit louder and ‘dirtier’. Bacher is said to reflect on Phil Spector and River Deep Mountain High through his work, but especially through the titles he gives, the artist tends to tackle perception by giving his artworks additional meanings. These titles usually give hints of what the paintings may be about, but the style he pursues stands right between interpretation of the subject and rejecting sharp determination. The embodiment of that manner results in a strange, illusive confusion among viewers, who are probably not sure if they actually see faces, figures, the ocean and the river, or if they’re just imagining.
It’s not our fault, a posteriori knowledge demands it from us – we usually try to envision what we’ve previously seen, and relate it to new things. In this case, defining meaning is sometimes encouraged by the title, and sometimes the title completely misleads the first impression. Anyhow, it will be up to you to decide. The exhibition will be on display from January 15th through March 5th, at Contemporary Fine Art in Berlin.
Featured Images: Markus Bacher - Vagabond, 2015, acrylic and oil on linen and canvas; Markus Bacher - Stars´n Stripes in the Mohave, 2015, acrylic and oil on linen and canvas (detail). All images courtesy of the artist and the gallery.