Günter Tuzina

Galerie Nächst St. Stephan

For his first exhibit in Vienna, Günter Tuz-ina showed works in all the media in which he has been working since the mid ’70s. Paintings on canvas, works on paper, and wall paintings, separated spatially from each other, make up a dialogic structure from which Tuzina works. The linear base figure, a windowlike square, divided and crossed by a diagonal line, and the saturated colors that fill it balance one another on the whole, but one may predominate depending on the materials of the individual work. For example, the painterly aspects of color come to the fore in the works on paper, and the linear constructed aspect in the wall paintings. The conceptual limitations of the formal structure—the repetitive, divided square—is varied from work to work. The lines sometimes do not meet at a 90 degree angle, or the diagonal does not cross in the middle.

Tuzina creates a harmoniously structured surface by subjecting it to the laws of symmetry or constructive logic. The balance in the works seems therefore always to be floating, expressing the inherent possibility of falling over or of containing an implicit movement by forcing the viewer to compare constantly the real image to its ideal counterpart. The subtle changes that are evinced in the equilibrium owe much to the special character of the pictures themselves, which combine density with fragility, stability with movement, or perhaps even the classic with the romantic.

The synthetic development that Tuzina’s current works exhibit grew from his scepticism toward traditional painting. His early works from the ’70s, including the wall paintings or better drawings, brought the entire wall into play. In 1980, with his use of the divided angle, which he borrowed from the plan of a basilica, the paintings finally gained a character that lifted them from the wall. The wall work here is a clear example of this imagery. This work is also reminiscent of sacred architecture, the foundation of all of Tuzina’s works.

Christian Kravagna

Translated from the German by Charles V. Miller.