basel

Mario Sala

Galerie Erika and Otto Friedrich

In Mario Sala’s images, the window, painting’s old paradigm, opens onto doors, which close off passages to illusionary space at the same time as they evoke it. The viewer stands, repeatedly, at a threshold. We find ourselves, for example, on the outside in a painting like Draussen (Outside; all works 2003); facing a western façade by night in Westfassade bei Nacht; or at the back entrance in Hintereingang.

Sala’s imaginary architecture composes a frame for branching narratives not unlike Mark Manders’s long-term project “Self-portrait as a Building,” 1986–. But Sala, unlike Manders, is not sketching a self-portrait; rather, these are public spaces, fundamental forms of orientation in space, which, with the most intensely condensed elements of passageways and alleys, are always narrated differently. As if one were a night watchman moving through a recently vacated building, opening doors

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