Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Preludes, a collaboration between Thomas Eggerer and R.H. Quaytman. This is Thomas Eggerer and R.H. Quaytman’s third collaboration together.
The exhibition Preludes consists of three collaborative paintings between Thomas Eggerer and R.H. Quaytman with an additional large acrylic painting, Regatta (2009), by Eggerer. Working together, Eggerer and Quaytman selected images for screenshots from documentary footage of piano virtuoso Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920 – 1995). The artists then followed Quaytman’s standard medium and formats by creating silkscreens on gessoed panels measuring: 32 3/8×52 3/8 inches (82.2×133 cm), and 32 3/8×32 3/8 inches (82.2×82.2 cm). The silkscreened images are each interrupted by Eggerer’s hand painted band across the surface.
The images of Michelangeli were selected because of Thomas Eggerer’s ongoing interest in representations of male authority. The temporal and spatial stability of this classic genre of musical portraiture is overturned through color and form via the painted image. The photographic crop appears to threaten the hierarchy of the virtuoso in relation to his instrument. The piano becomes a landscape that is at once wellspring and menace. The dated illustionistic space of the image itself becomes another kind of landscape between the painted gesso ground and the oil painted line. Eggerer and Quaytman’s process of reconfiguring and reframing the image, subdues the pianist’s and the painter’s authorial autonomy. The piano becomes the guiding vessel, an external body, and an allusion to a black coffin mirroring the pianist on the inside of its lid. In addition, the raised piano lid resembles the sailboat that quietly keels upon the endless horizon in Regatta.