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Albrecht Schnider

Landscape VIII, 2011-2012
oil on canvas
16.5 x 33.0 cm
The landscapes by Albrecht Schnider,Landscape V, VII and VIII, overturn the traditional relationships between subject and format such as we encounter them in the classical art history. In small dimensions, they portray the outline of a mountainous relief, exuding a denuded atmosphere. On the canvas, fine material, marked contours and volumes abbreviated to coloured fields make up images which seem to be digital, due to the precision of the lines and the perfection of the flat colour areas. Without any apparent paint brush strokes, Schnider’s small panoramic views embody timeless, almost virtual compositions, from which the artist’s gestures seem to be absent.

Schnider initiated his series of reduced format landscapes in 1989, which have since become a permanent reference point in his oeuvre, and he continues to reproduce new models. In them we find empty spaces, devoid of any human and architectural presence, and whose simplified forms create a subtle balance in the green, yellow, grey and brown tones. In a controlled act, shadow and light modulate the composition of these paintings by distinguishing the successive planes which create their depth. Through a delicate stylisation and profound reduction of the figuration of its essential elements, Schnider reinvents a dematerialised pictorial space into which spectators’ eyes are cast.

The panoramas, like the majority of his painted work, reflect the artist’s initial exploration into the technique of drawing, the study of geometric motifs and the multiplication of planes to render a singular vision of the relationship between form and content. In his continuous series approach, Schnider creates a virtually infinite variety of portraits and landscapes, thanks to his smooth pictorial treatment and meticulous lines, which deliberately oscillate between figuration and abstraction. Each painting is both a consequence and repeat of the previous one, fitting into the constant renewal of the same motif.
Albrecht Schnider, Landscape VIII, 2011-2012