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Bernd Ribbeck, Untitled, 2014, acrylic, ballpoint pen, and pigment marker on MDF, 23 3/4 × 11 3/4".

Bernd Ribbeck

Galerie Kamm

Bernd Ribbeck, Untitled, 2014, acrylic, ballpoint pen, and pigment marker on MDF, 23 3/4 × 11 3/4".

When Joanna Kamm announced, in July, that her gallery would close at the end of September, an exhibition by German painter Bernd Ribbeck—his fourth with Kamm—had already been slotted for that month. A September show coincides with important events on the local calendar such as Berlin Art Week and the art fair abc art berlin contemporary. Although nothing about the show overtly registered that it would be the gallery’s last, the fact turned out to be inadvertently pertinent.

Ribbeck’s small-format abstract paintings are usually rendered on MDF with acrylic paint and ballpoint pen, the visible coexistence of the two mediums imbuing the works with hybridity. Traces of subtractions—the scraping off of layers of pigment—are as central to his process-based works as the pen’s pointy, scratchy lines or the paint’s iridescent, misty staining. The mandala-like geometrical

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