zurich

Michael Biberstein

Stähli

Clouds high in the sky, misty canyons, a bright horizon in the distance, or as in Chinese landscape paintings, the sudden appearance of rocky crags release, in Michael Biberstein’s paintings, a flood of associations. There is no fixed point in these paintings, and the viewer’s eye moves constantly over the surface. Even where a primeval landscape is put into perspective by its juxtaposition with a far-off mountain range, vision is lost in the glare of light. Illusionism is used against itself, leading the viewer to the boundaries of space that are at once opened and closed.

Biberstein is not concerned with the representation of real landscapes or with quoting art history. He summons memories of visual experiences in the mountains in order to evoke unrepresentable mental landscapes, the sublimity of the inapprehensible. Jean-François Lyotard connects this sublimity to a disaster of form,

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