Karl Martin Holzhäuser
New York, 245 Tenth Avenue
The show will feature Holzhäuser's vintage "light paintings" ("Lichtmalerei") from the 1980s and early 1990s, a period in which the artist was a chief practitioner of Concrete Photography.
Holzhäuser's "paintings with light" align themselves with the tenets of Concrete Photography as nonobjective pictorial worlds, devoid of any intentional reference to figuration or reality. Wielding "the light rake" ("Lichtrakel"), a light-emitting tool of his own fabrication, the artist exposes sensitized chromogenic photographic papers to light bands of varying color and width, building abstractions from a predetermined series of gestures. Holzhäuser works in total darkness without the benefit of seeing what has been exposed until after the picture is developed, making visible the gridded patterns or organic shapes mapped or memorized by the artist in advance.
"For me", the artist has stated, "photography is the creative use of light, period." Investigations into the interplay between tools and technique, chance and control, ground him in the strong tradition of experimentation within the history of German photography, exemplified first by the Bauhaus in the 1920s and conveyed into the twenty-first century by artists such as Marco Breuer. At the same time, with his photographic equipment he confronts formal concerns of a painter, such as gesture, mark-making and the methodical layering of color.