Duality as a conceptual and productive principle is characteristic of Bernd Ribbeck’s work. Mathematics/ spirituality, transcendence/opacity, space/surface, modernism/outsider art, rationality/intuition, drawing/ painting are both reference points and the DNA of Bernd Ribbeck’s abstract compositions. In his small format paintings and drawings, the artist condenses them as geometrical and painterly elements to form an illusion of seemingly infinite mental spaces. At the same time, the paintings themselves are objects in space. Paint is applied in several layers on MDF, partially ground, and then drawn over with a pen and pigmented markers based on previous detailed sketches executed on squared drawing paper. “...the pictures unfold before the eyes of the viewer in a temporality that knows neither beginning nor end,” says the art critic Noemi Smolik. This “detemporalization” also applies to the selection of Bernd Ribbeck’s abstract shapes. A “wandering” always lies behind them. From the high culture of modernism to the codes of outsider art, medieval celestial charts, mathematical representations of the solar system, or mundane design elements such as roulettes or simply the original forms of circle, square and triangle. Bernd Ribbeck is not concerned with a “truth content,” but instead interested in the aesthetic structure of “visual thought”: “As a painter, I mainly believe what I see, and what I see shapes my imagination.”
Bernd Ribbeck (DE 1974) lives and works in Berlin. His works have been shown in numerous international exhibitions and are represented in several institutional collections such as Museum of Modern Art New York, Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, Sammlung de Belvedere / 21er Haus Vienna, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus Munich, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf or the Wilhelm-Hack Museum Ludwigshafen. His solo exhibitions at Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich and Wilhelm-Hack Museum Ludwigshafen are accompanied by a comprehensive publication by Distanz Verlag.