dusseldorf

Helmut Schweizer

Kunstverein

Helmut Schweizer’s series “Französische Landschaften” (French landscapes, 1987–89), works that have been photographed, then overpainted, consists of two groups. These at first seem antipodal, especially since they were hung here in separate rooms. One group is lushly variegated, with hues that blur softly into one another or spread eruptively like protuberances, constantly revealing new motifs whose objective meanings are difficult to pinpoint. The overall format in this group is oblong. In the other group, the pictures are consistently vertical and uniformly toned, the color going from cold white to steel blue and then anthracite. Here, the subjects are both very readable and utterly alien; if they appeared to us in a nightmare, we would prefer to wake up very quickly. They have an almost magical symmetry that arrests the viewer’s wandering eye. These demons are not the kind that are

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