Johannes Ulrich Kubiak

array of primitive values

Eva Steynen.Deviation(s) is pleased to present the second individual exhibition of Johannes Ulrich Kubiak at our gallery.

"Yesterday I visited the studio of Johannes Ulrich Kubiak (b. 1961), an artist from Berlin who came to live in Antwerp five years ago. First he shows me works that have been created over the past three years: paintings with acrylic paint on canvas, created from pencil lines that mostly form triangles or stars. This creates fields that are filled in with different colours: a fragmented surface that obtains pictorial depth due to the varying density of the colours. Sometimes a slightly tinted transparent layer is added, softening the colors with a milky mist. Some surfaces seem to have been painted with a brush, bordered by tape. Sometimes the paint is applied with a painter’s knife to blend two colors together or create an opaque, thicker texture that gives the impression of standing out or hovering in front of a receding space. Sometimes we find a wiry texture on top, applied with a rounded, flat brush.

Somewhere in the room hangs a vertical painting that reminds me of an icon or a narrow stained glass window. Up close I see that the paint is applied to two obliquely cut strips of a door that have been glued together. The work is light-footed, elegant, minimal, compact, penetrating. It appeals to me. It evokes many images, an atmosphere, a form of concentrated attention. A little later I recognize two similar works in the studio. They’re still standing on the floor. I understand that they are in purgatory, as the concrete philosopher Walter Swennen calls it: the place where will be decided whether the thing can go to heaven (will be given a place in the oeuvre) or will be rejected as an unfortunate attempt.

Kubiak mainly uses four colors: white, cyan, magenta and yellow. Sometimes these colors are mixed to create orange, green, purple, gray or pink. I ask if he has a background as a printer. That turns out to be the case. (...)"
Hans Theys, April 2023

Johannes Ulrich Kubiak (1961, lives and works in Antwerp) has exhibited since 1992 in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, U.S., Austria, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. His work recently was on view in Antwerp (B), Positions Berlin (D) Art Rotterdam(NL), Art on Paper Brussels (B). His work is held in several private collections in Belgium and Germany, institutional collections incl. Deutsche Bank, Bundesbank, Kunstsammlung Sachsen, Berlinische Galerie.

Artists: Johannes Ulrich Kubiak

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