Critics’ Picks

Ningbo, 2006, acrylic, ink, and paper on canvas, 27 1/2 x 39 3/8".

Ningbo, 2006, acrylic, ink, and paper on canvas, 27 1/2 x 39 3/8".

Vienna

Rudi Stanzel

Galerie Ulysses
Opernring 21
January 23–March 18, 2007

Graphite and bitumen were difficult to find during Rudi Stanzel’s two-month residency at the Ningbo Museum of Art, two hundred miles south of Shanghai. For this reason, the artist developed a new and unusual combination of materials for his Minimalist, abstract black, white, and gray pictures included in this exhibition: He applied to canvas strips of very thin handmade rice paper that were painted white with acrylic and then dipped in Indian ink. The vertical and horizontal lines generated by this process seem both heavy as lead and immaterial as fog, creating an extraordinary atmosphere of connectivity and departure, an uncertain and very intense suspension at the moment of perception—an impression that can also be read metaphorically as Stanzel’s response to the country in which he was working. “Art seeks to describe the world. The simpler the attempt and the more encompassing it is, the more powerful the description," he writes in the catalog accompanying the series, which is published by the Ningbo Museum.

Translated from German by Jane Brodie.