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Matthias Zinn

We have great pleasure in presenting works by the German painter Matthias Zinn (born in Tegernsee 1964, lives and works in Berlin). Zinn's paintings are distinguished by his independent composition technique and his reduced and at the same time condensed visual language. After completing his architectural studies, Zinn studied with Marwan Kassab-Bachi at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. His works were last exhibited at the "Kunstparterre" in Munich and at the Galerie Fiebach & Minniger in Cologne in 2003.

Matthias Zinn is very keen that his paintings should be allowed to develop directly out of themselves, a visual genesis that demands from him the greatest confidence in his medium. Accordingly, he regards painting as a kind of instrument of perception. He approaches the concrete things around him without prejudice – objects, situations and spaces and the emotions that they trigger in him, for he is not interested in narrative, surrealist or social aspects. He examines his motifs thoroughly and attempts to translate them into painting by condensing, exposing and concentrating them, experimenting with brushstrokes of various thicknesses, streaky or sparse, applied with varying degrees of pressure, diagonal, vertical and horizontal, clustered together or defining empty spaces. To Zinn, the act of painting represents a search for an original, painterly expression and visual allegory for what he has perceived and inwardly experienced. His subtly coloured paintings reveal still lifes, interiors, less frequently figures and faces. The forms assumed by the things in the paintings develop their own direction. The artist allows himself to be guided by the picture, while mentally retaining the starting point and aspiring to a specific presence.

Zinn does not use illusionist techniques to portray three-dimensionality. In his experience, the creation of objectivity is an open and partly incalculable process in which he must be constantly on the alert. Thus Barriere only emerged as an image because the table suddenly appeared as a question in space. Although it consists of several single shapes, Zinn sees in it a whole that confronts him as a constituted form. Stuhl represents the portrait of a chair, whereas Kopf is present and absent at one and the same time. These things are important to Zinn as confrontations with forms of painting that refer back to third media – or, for example, reflectively elaborate and illustrate their historic references, sometimes celebrating virtuosity.

These and other works are reminiscent of sketches or collages which are, however, capable of capturing the essential qualities of the motif. The drawings are created parallel with the painting and are in constant dialogue with them, contributing, according to Zinn, to the "explanation within the painting process", whereby the things are reinterpreted and united with something new, for example when different perspectives are involved, or when certain sections are erased and reworked. This leads to blue and other shadings, or to a white brightness that penetrates the colours and forms and opens up the background. In these sections, we get the impression that we can see infinity breaking through. [Text: Dominique von Burg]

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