Bernhard Gaul: Icarus (Left Wing)

Icarus (Left Wing)
[ Oil and wall paint on canvas and wood. 105 x 100 x 5 cm. 2011]

Bernhard Gaul : Echo...

Echo... Black I 2010 (After Vicentino, The Battle of Lepanto) | Landscape (Killanny) 2009 | C1: Construction

[Oil, wall paint and yacht varnish on canvas, plywood and paper.
1750 x 1780 x 40 mm. 2009-2010.]

Bernhard Gaul: T1 + T2 2011

T1 + T2 2011
[ Oil and yacht varnish on birch. 26 x 22 x 4 cm each. 2011]

Bernhard Gaul: ToW [2012-2013]

[Oil, pastels and yacht varnish on paper on plywood. Deconstructed wooden frame.
132 x 94 x 7 cm. 2012-2013]

The double negative. Defensive in its shield and shell, offensive via the arrow of its vector. At the front the negations, in black and red. In the background - the affirmation hesitates, trembles and tries to be born. The oriental fortress, Cairo's Gate to the port, in front of the elegant palace with open balconies, where the white emerges. The tiny watching figures, on the terraces and the bridges, on the paths, on the water's edge, are propped up more or less by the white, secured by the borders. Behind that, indeed, lies the fortified city, on the cusp of the hillside, surrounded by black trees. And those unlikely cliffs, with un-scalable overhangs. Timid life, timid yes, resulting colour, white yes in its original state in the hollow safety of the black and the red, protected by the nos.
Michel Serres about Carpaccio's St. George and the Dragon.
From: Revisited: Michel Serres - Carpaccio / The Red and the Black

Bernhard Gaul: Photo (Black)

Bernhard Gaul: Ohne Titel (Für Norbert)

Ohne Titel (Für Norbert)
[Oil on beech, bolts. 60 x 60 x 3 cm. 1995-1996]

Bernhard Gaul: Black II : 2010 (Landscape)

Black II : 2010 (Landscape) [
100 x 100 x 4 cm]

I found that red and black again at the Museo Correr in the buildings surrounding the Piazza San Marco, which I entered to see Carpaccio's Courtesans, but the defining experience I walked away with was a different one. More a city museum than a fine art gallery the Museo Correr houses a few master pieces, but to a larger extent it offers revealing insights into the wider history of the city, and in terms of paintings this means showing trends rather than just focussing on the exceptional individual.

Up until my visit I had always, without much thought, considered the gaudy pink and turquoise of Canaletto's paintings as being the representative colours of Venice. And indeed you find that also in the Museo Correr in the rooms reflecting 18th century trends. I wasn't surprised to walk through a sea of pink and turquoise, but when you step back in time, enter the section reflecting Venice's dependence on sea warfare, the colour scheme changes: it's gloomy black skies, which dominate, turbulent, dark aquamarine oceans interspersed with Venetian galleys in battle with flaming red oars and hulls, thrown about on the waves. There it is again: that intensity and terror of the red and the black.

From: Revisited: Michel Serres - Carpaccio / The Red and the Black

Bernhard Gaul: Exposure (Study - With Painted Frame)

Bernhard Gaul: Exposure

Exposure (Study - With Painted Frame)
[Pencil on paper. Perspex, oil on wood. 55 x 30 x 6 cm. 1995-2011]



There is a trajectory from those red and black paintings at the Museo Correr to Cy Twombly's quite recent take on the Lepanto theme, currently on display in the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Structurally Twombly picks up on this type of battle paintings, reflecting, too, the multitude of paintings of that type as a historic trend, of something representing a once dominant expression of experience, describing a widespread mood or outlook; which since has softened.

However, colour wise Twombly's paintings are stretched far beyond even the chalky pink and turquoise Canaletto's. By now the colour is clear, translucent, builds a waxy acrylic skin, and the base colours of that palette remind at least me of the Cyan, Yellow and Magenta test marks you see on four colour prints, like on the fringe of newspaper pages: three of the four essential colours to produce every other tint from. Black is there, too, and a white base, but they don't dominate.

What is by now dominating though, is that the paint is free flowing, finds its own way, and control is only applied lightly to let the medium find its path – apparent reminders of the fact that painting, as a physical act or representation, reminds at least in parts of other physical acts of shedding fluids, like bleeding or tears, and the way we control paint may reflect, too, how we deal with grief.

From: Revisited: Michel Serres - Carpaccio / The Red and the Black

Bernhard Gaul: Delacroix III 2012 [Lithography]

Delacroix III 2012
[Lithography 35 x 35 cm. Printed at Independent Editions, Dublin]

Bernhard Gaul: Lithography Target I + II

Lithography Target I + II
[Lithography, water colour, yacht varnish, plywood, 35 x 35 cm each. 2012]

Bernhard Gaul: Lithography Target III  Bernhard Gaul: Lithography Target IV

Lithography Target III + IV
[Lithography, poster paint, yacht varnish, plywood, 35 x 35 cm each. 2013]



Bernhard Gaul: Mock-up : Icarus 300 + Debris

Mock-up: Icarus 300 + Debris
[Oil, wall paint and wood stain on canvas and wood, bolts. 300 x 307 x 10 cm each]

Bernhard Gaul: Frames for Icarus 300 + Debris


Bernhard Gaul : Creatures I + II / Studies: the Geometry of Fear

Creatures I + II / Studies: the Geometry of Fear
[Colour pencils on paper on plywood, yacht varnish.
55.5 x 56 x 3 cm and 53 x 56 x 3 cm. 2010 - 2013]

Spectacles as Collective Confrontation of the New

Bernhard Gaul: Uccello 98

Uccello 98
(before assembly)
[Pencil on beech, varnish. 99 blocks 13 x 11 x 3 cm each. 1998]





Bernhard Gaul: Portrait Josef Szeiler (Double sided)


Portrait Josef Szeiler (Double sided)
[Oil and pencil on beech, steel. 45 x 200 x 3 cm. 1994-1995. Contribution: A.H.]

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