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Martin Disler

Tornado Tango, 1984
oil on canvas
240.0 x 195.0 cm
Tornado Tango by Martin Disler imposes an intense expressiveness, perfectly in keeping with its title. This large-scale painting, with its superposition of energetic gestures, liberated brush strokes stretched out in successive layers of material, is stamped with the artist’s creative and singular force. Like his oeuvre which constantly oscillates between figuration and abstraction, it lets us imagine the limbs of a slender figure, sketched on the left half of the composition.

Characteristic of his work from the 1980s, Tornado Tango fits within the series of paintings which Disler undertook at the end of the 1970s, often in a monumental format, and in which we find his favourite themes such as love, death, fear and sexuality. Filled with large, irregular lines which overlap in a powerful chromatic tempest, his large paintings exude an intensified atmosphere of obsessive visions of fragmented, entwined and quartered human bodies caught up in a violent physical dance.

While the 1980s were marked by a return to painting and colour, proclaimed in particular by the New Fauves (represented in Switzerland by Miriam Cahn and Sonia Sekula), Disler embodied this generation described as neo-expressionist even though he never himself claimed to be a member of a group. Questioning and rejecting his subjects’ physical and psychic boundaries, Disler’s protean oeuvre testifies to a tormented creativity, directed towards the search for an inner world in which dreams and hallucinations merge. He draws his images from a constantly twisting world evoking “a loving relationship between the artist and the materials that he uses”. Disler gives us, without any premeditation whatsoever and with unrestrained generosity, the complexities of his soul, even into its darkest nooks and crannies.
Martin Disler, Tornado Tango, 1984