Zwischen Windkanal und Trompetenpfifferling

 **Between Wind Tunnel and Trumpet Chanterelle**


Those who know Robert Schaberl well are aware that he is a notorious seducer. This primarily applies to his painting and, secondarily, to his mushroom dishes. To understand this better, one must have spent countless hours with Robert Schaberl in his studio and kitchen.


In his central forms, he directs the gaze, seducing the viewer to spatial visual pleasure through pure color, while simultaneously leading them into a serious conflict. The viewer, drawn into the vortex of the central form, is helplessly exposed to subtle variations in color tonality, surface structure, and light concentration. Juxtaposing these painted manifestations further intensifies the suggestion. Only after prolonged viewing do the individual color worlds of the different glazes reveal themselves following the spatial tempos. The readability, or rather seeability, is variable. While the gaze on one central form might glide rhythmically from the outer edges toward the center, in another work, the surface structure creates an incredible pull that draws the gaze into unfathomable depths. The space as a wind tunnel, the color as an explosive projectile, and the time spent viewing the painting as the key to understanding the painted speed. Especially in the last two years, the Berlin air has led to an expansion and deepening of the color language.


Robert Schaberl’s central forms are existential fundamental experiences and threats simultaneously in their fascination. The alternative seems to be either to breathe deeply and look or to turn away. The space is a kind of empty state of aggregation, which the viewer must fill through the process of active contemplation. To create such painting, the artist must internally immerse himself in the act of creation, striving for an identity that taps into the core of existence where no division has yet occurred.


This intensity in the creative process can be compared to the release of energies and forces encountered while mushroom hunting. The sensual experience of seeing, feeling, almost hearing and breathing in the colors and spatial experience becomes the key and guide. The creative process in the studio finds its congenial counterpart in the forest. Here too, the creator and the created ultimately form a unity. To illustrate this, here is an original Schaberl recipe for pickled mushrooms: After a refreshing autumn rain, we return with a bounty of porcini, young bay boletes, trumpet chanterelles, and hedgehog mushrooms. After cleaning, the mushrooms are blanched in a broth of white wine and wine vinegar. Pepper and thyme are added. After the mushrooms have fully drained, they are placed in screw-top jars and marinated in a mixture of the best olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, and mustard seeds. Stored in a cool place, the mushrooms typically keep for up to a year. But it’s rare to resist this temptation for long.


The tense dynamic in the creation process of the painted works contrasts with the stoic calm of mushroom hunting and processing. As we have seen, Robert Schaberl’s color spaces elude precise description and appropriation. By renouncing representationalism, color and spatial experience as image-constituting elements unsettle the viewer.


Color spaces and mushroom dreams are immeasurable; the connoisseur is defenseless against them. One’s own firm position must be abandoned in favor of a visual and taste adventure. Those who engage with Robert Schaberl have the opportunity to realize that not only does the painted space constantly change and recreate itself—an ephemeral state with various qualities—but this also particularly applies to mushroom dishes. Thus, seeing and tasting are always present and demand a truly personal dedication.




©  Harald Krämer  2002