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C. Newman : Sebastian Biskup


Sebastian Biskup´s work, whether expressing itself in painting or video, has a transformational interest in abstraction. But it´s a kind of active abstraction, whereby the actual act is the main thing, which of course puts a lot of onus on the choice of source material he takes. It is as if when regarding his work the act of abstracting is still taking place. For example, paintings exhibited in Kubus Hannover Sept. 2011 all took as their source material classical portraits from throughout history, from the Renaissance to the present day, & they were all abstracted regardless of historical style to the same extent, not to become abstract art, but abstracted art. This gives the work a strange concrete quality whereby the flat shapes of colour are like things in their own right, objects, which go to make up these semi-abstracted results. They are paintings on the way to being abstract. When Biskup uses as his source pages from popular weekly magazines taking shapes of the lay-outof the pages to produce a new kind of placement for colour-shapes, again this work does not come across as abstract art in the conventional way, rather as things which have been displaced by putting them in a new context, a new language. The meaning has changed, the context, the ´filling´ but the contour, the outside, remains. This is also true of the ´Hannover´ paintings. This is what gives the elements of this work an object-like quality. The videos also embrace movement, whereby colour-fields are faded one into another, the activisation of the transformation made concrete. It is the becoming which is where the notion of the work is. Taking what is normally passive material & activising it, the idea of potential becoming a thing in itself.


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