Robert Schaberl - (DE)ZENTRAL


Colored light. Auratic images in the literal sense of the word. Art of oscillation. Vibrating color fields titled purple dance with red copper-gold, red magenta (blood & wine), lava-red green silver-blue, deep cherry red magenta, soft silver rotation, rusty green, and lemon yellow. Brightly gleaming discs, light reflections and pulsating circular surfaces in infinite color variations, subtle color transitions, sometimes intense contrasts, but also studies in black. 

Art of vibration, which achieves its maximum emphasis in large format and seeks balance in the seriality of medium and small formats. Robert Schaberl's concentric abstractions, which he carries out in various color gradations between matte and glossy, are created by up to 70 layers of thin paint applied on a horizontally rotating canvas. They go back to his early photographic experiments with everyday objects such as glasses and the biomorphic round forms of mushrooms. At first glance it suggests formal comparisons with works of „concrete art“ , like the cryptic circle paintings of Hermann J. Painitz or the targets of Jasper Johns. A closer examination, however, reveals a completely different intention. 

The artist, born in Feldbach, Styria, in 1961, cultivates in his ouevre an experimental arrangement developed over decades, with colorless micro-prismatic pigments that reflect light at certain color frequencies . An impressionistic  play with the perception of color and light, which emerges in the studio as an alchemical workshop and only fully unfolds in the interaction between the paintings and the viewer. One could also say: art takes place in the area of tension between production and reception.

Schaberl's rarely completely monochrome ‚central forms‘ appear in paintings, photographs, and works on paper. They extend the spectrum of an art of perception that unfolds its magic precisely in the deviation from a central point. The color-shifting images change their appearance depending on the perspective of the viewer. They overcome a supposed anachronism in their complex multi-layered aesthetic experience. Opposing the everyday overkill of information, the accelerated flow of images and conceptual discourses on art, they escape contemporary fashions and new technologies. Robert Schaberl's aesthetics of ‚central forms‘ is sensually overwhelming, training the sensibility of optical exegesis beyond retinal art.


 © Angela Stief 2016, Director Albertina Modern Museum ( Vienna)