‘Reduce to the maximum’ is the motto behind Patric Sandri’s ( born in 1979 near Zurich) oeuvre. His work does not obtrude but wears the air of modesty throughout its reticent, abstract synthetic language and strict sensuality. Still, his pieces of work are powerful. They absorb the perception of the beholder, shine, reflect, glow and stretch themselves out into the room. Sandri’s spaces, blocks and bodies are white, sometimes black and coloured in neon pigments at some spots, as the backsides of the transparent surfaces or the parts of the sides of the chock-frames . Through reduction on a formal stylistic, as well as on a substantial level the artist is approaching a form of pure painting, thus following an asymptotic process. Minimal interventions create maximal effects, the basic elements of art turn into the carrier of the content. The textures of the polyester materials, the gloss of the varnished surfaces and the Moirée effects of some bodies evoke a somewhat haptic quality that forms a contradiction to the subtly installed instruments. Through Sandri’s focus on the specific form of the medium, on the materiality of the single elements, on the brightness of the colours, on the ephemeral such as borders and the equal treatment of front- and backside, a certain belief in a structural authenticity of the image carrier is conveyed.
Through a playful manner the artist thus tries to answer substantial questions concerning art through contemporary responses. Can the philosophical expression “essence” be transferred to the art of painting at all? And, furthermore, in how far can Essentialism in painting still call for prestige in the 21st Century?
What would the criteria for the essentialist art of painting be? The essence of Patric Sandri’s art of painting is close at hand here. It is formed by refusing the traditional picture ballast, by liberating itself from figures, items, stories, expressive gestures, quotations and illusionism. Although rooted in tradition, Patric Sandri’s art of painting is found here and now. It brings the sublime moment that Barnett Newman tried to approach in his Colour Field Paintings back to the ground of contemporary facts and fascinates the observer. It hints at the so-called ‘Post-Painterly Abstraction’ that was brought forward by the American art critic Clemens Greenberg in the 1960s and at Minimalism. Patric Sandri’s pieces of art cause irritation because they use common aesthetic paradigms in a playful manner, produce variations within the reference systems of art history and root them within the contemporary. In his extra exhibition named Untitled at the Gallery LISABIRD Contemorary in Vienna, Sandri vaguely relates to artists like Ad Reinhardt (abstract Expressionist), the Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez who tries paradigms of perception and optical effects in his work, and the Black Paintings by Robert Rauschenberg. Thus, the implications remain vague – thus, untitled. Patric Sandri’s art is primarily one thing, namely all that which it is not.
Text by Angela Stief.
Contribution by Marialuisa Pastò.
Patric Sandri - Untitled (to)
Lisabird Contemporary, February 13 - March 19