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Bernd Ribbeck

Harris Lieberman Gallery
89 Vandam Street, 212-206-1290
October 17 - November 14, 2009
Reception: Saturday, October 17, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Harris Lieberman is delighted to announce the first U.S. solo exhibition of German artist Bernd Ribbeck. Ribbeck previously participated in Here We Stand, Lost in Wonder, a two-person exhibition at the gallery with Simon Dybbroe Møller.

Ribbeck’s small paintings and works on paper build intricate geometric structures with nods to Modernist and ornamental design. Pairing non-traditional artistic mediums like ballpoint pen and marker with acrylic and varnish, Ribbeck introduces a bold, gestural energy to his paintings on MDF. Additive and deductive processes are a central element of Ribbeck’s paintings. His methodical building and sanding of layers give his mandala-like forms a surprising luminosity, as vibrant marks in red, purple and turquoise erode into the colored grounds hidden just beneath. As in the work of visionary artist and healer Emma Kunz, these complex formal systems evoke metaphysical and even spiritual valences.

In his drawings, Ribbeck works India ink onto wet paper, continuously soaking his surfaces to produce beautifully stained images. Originally wrought in brilliant reds, yellows and blues, the interlocking ovals, almonds and diamonds of the artist’s drawings dissipate into faded washes, though this process, coming to resemble mystical icons and art-historical relics. Vocabularies of drawing and painting enter both of Ribbeck’s bodies of work, and the interplay of color fields and systematic mark-making suggest new delineations for each medium, built upon Ribbeck’s thoughtful reappraisal of the legacy of geometric abstraction, as well as his arresting visual style.

Bernd Ribbeck was born in 1974 in Cologne. He graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and currently lives and works in Berlin. In 2009, Ribbeck had a solo exhibition at Kunstverein Oldenberg and participated in Cave Paintings, curated by Bob Nickas, at PSM, Berlin; Slow Paintings, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen; and The Long Dark, curated by Michelle Cotton as part of The International 3, Manchester. His work has been exhibited in Manifesta, Trentino, Bonner Kunstverein, Bielefelder Kunstverein and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.
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