New York

Bernd Zimmer

Barbara Gladstone Gallery

Choosing subject matter to paint is evidently the least of Bernd Zimmer’s worries. No matter how banal the reality may be, Zimmer will make it look as if it’s a hallucination. His neo-Expressionist landscapes all have the feel of imminent catastrophe, as if in every innocent scene there exists some terribly subtle crime, hidden from the pedestrian eye.

In Grosser Wasserfall (Large Waterfall), 1980, a rush of light water cascades downward over ragged rocks that hover in midair, threatening to crash out of the picture plane. The spatial relationships between rocks and water are a little irrational, askew; the more we look, the more aware we become of Zimmer’s fantasy. Whatever we might imagine is happening wouldn’t happen in reality quite the way that Zimmer has us see it. Badende (Nachts) ([Night] Bathers), 1979, in which we see sketchy black figures waist-deep in a dark blue ocean, pushes

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