Vienna

Erwin Bohatsch

Charim Galerie

It is not exactly easy to renounce “content” in this age of restive realism, when every image is its own screenplay. Doing without political, social, or economic symbolism, foreclosing any reference to an object, means dependence on only the most primal code of painting: on the materiality and texture of the pigment and its support. “The image itself says nothing,” says Erwin Bohatsch, a purist through and through. “It is a flat object.”

In the early ’80s, Bohatsch was considered one of the Neue Wilde (new savages), the “impassioned” painters especially celebrated in Austria, Germany, and Italy. He soon departed from this neo-expressionist style, with its symbol-laden imagery, and from then on worked to rid the painted surface of all figuration, narration, and expressivity. Today Bohatsch is a poster child for abstraction, a key player on the analytical-painting team. His latest exhibition

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