With the "Night and Day" exhibition, Galerie Wolfgang Jahn in Munich presents a selection of works from Leif Trenkler's current oeuvre. Several of the paintings shown here, painted on a wooden background by the artist, who was born in 1960 and now lives in Cologne, originate from very recently in the year 2023.
One of Trenkler's main subjects is the depiction of architecture and nature. The artist immerses his scenes in expressive exaggerated worlds of colour that are impressive interpretations of atmospheric moods of light: a luminous Tiepolo dusky pink makes the colour scheme in the paintings glow and gives them an intensely blazing impression overall. Then again, the works shine in the palpably shimmering heat of a summer day or suggest the pleasant coolness of a dawning day in the delicate morning dew almost in the style of the French Baroque painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. But night pieces, which immerse the scenes illuminated by a full moon under a starry sky in a fairytale-like, mysterious atmosphere shaped by romantic image concepts, also find their way into the oeuvre and reflect the chosen exhibition title.
"The Night and Day exhibition stages the perfect utopia of a living space. This ideal represents the illusion of an independence that does not exist in reality." (Leif Trenkler)
With regard to his intense, sometimes exaggerated colourfulness, Trenkler speaks of the "artistic radicality that it takes to dare these phenomenal experiments with colour."
As a painter who is well versed in art history, Trenkler allows influences and styles that have shaped him to flow into his unique painting process. For example, he says: "When I paint a square bush, I inevitably think of the abstract paintings by Josef Albers. When I paint a skyscraper, I develop a deliberate painterly reduced style that brings to mind Barnett Newman's non-representational, sublime colour field painting. And Willem de Kooning is also an important source of inspiration."
But, as Trenkler emphasises, it is not primarily about the motif shown in the sense of a subject deliberately chosen for the interpretation of its content. On the contrary, his focus is primarily on the painterly realisation and artistic interpretation of what is shown. Formally and painterly, Trenkler contrasts what has been produced by man and nature and juxtaposes an artificially created environment with organically grown structures. In doing so, the painter contrasts the austerity of cool, geometrically aligned architectural elements, which in his work are often reduced to single monochrome areas of colour and sharply contrasted with natural phenomena whose forms refuse to follow clearly defined vertical and horizontal axes and are rendered in a less formal, lively, almost impressionistic painting style. His sense of beauty emerges from this.
Dr. Veit Ziegelmaier
Exhibition opening: 26.04.2023, 7 to 9 p.m.