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Mark Lammert, Sammlung (Collection) (detail), 2005–2008, oil on canvas, sixteen panels, each 19 5/8 x 15 3/4".

Mark Lammert

Guardini Galerie

Mark Lammert, Sammlung (Collection) (detail), 2005–2008, oil on canvas, sixteen panels, each 19 5/8 x 15 3/4".

For a contemporary artist to pursue a dialogue with modern or older masters is not in itself remarkable. But to address predecessors such as Soutine or Bacon by making sequels to their work that succeed as independent paintings, not commentaries, suggests a more nuanced operation. And that’s what Mark Lammert has been undertaking. He recently showed ten suites of oil paintings made between 1997 and 2010, ranging from the small Lettre (nach Goya) (Letter [After Goya]), 2008–2009, which consists of four small panels, to the wall-spanning Manöver (Maneuver), 2005–10, made up of twenty-seven paintings. As the dates show, Lammert is in no hurry with his works. Each panel shows a monochrome and substantially developed ground, on which one or more figurative fragments appears. But figurative is a precarious word here, since those fragments involve no more than the suggestion of a human,

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