Alois Lichtsteiner

Hans Rudolf Reust

Alois Lichtsteiner emerged as an artist around the time when the craze for “wild painting” was coming to its abrupt end. From the very beginning he combined figuration and the gesture of pure application of color with a determination to reflect on the medium of painting through painterly means. Time and again, working up his large impastoed surfaces, he would take his unfettered style of oil painting, his glistening brush marks, to the brink of abstraction, yet without ever giving up the memory of figurative representation. A blue field painted over a green one still evoked the archaic scenario of the landscape, even if it seemed that painting here referred only to its own processes and the overlapping of surfaces.

In “Birches,” the most recent and most conceptual series of Lichtsteiner’s works from the past two years, his painterly methods have converged on a single motif. Following a

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