Nicholas Metivier Gallery

Joachim Bandau
November 2–25, 2017


Opening Reception: Thursday, November 2, 6-8 PM

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Joachim Bandau. The exhibition will open on November 2nd and run until the 25th with an opening reception on Thursday, November 2nd. This is Bandau’s third solo exhibition at the gallery.

Bandau lives and works in Achen, Germany and Staefa, Switzerland. He is celebrated throughout Europe for his sculptures, installations and in more recent years, paintings. This exhibition brings together two different series by Joachim Bandau, his watercolour paintings (Aquarelles) and small wall sculptures (Diverse Bonsai). While not directly related, the paintings and sculptures are complimentary in their minimalist form and when paired together, better our understanding of his refined and contemplative practice.

In 1983, Bandau started making watercolours as an alternative to drawing, a practice that has always informed his sculptural work. Using large custom Japanese watercolour brushes and black watercolour paint, Bandau applies the watercolour with uniform strokes in an extraordinarily controlled fashion that defies the natural tendencies of the medium to bleed. Each layer must be completely dry before the next is applied meaning that the works are completed over long periods of time, sometimes months or even years. The effect is deceivingly simple, the outer edges of each painted square resembling a pencil line in their precision and delicate nature. The Aquarelles range in density, from only a few glass-like layers to upwards of twenty. The more layers there are, the greater the illusion of depth and horizontal or vertical movement.

Bandau’s small wall sculptures known as Diverse Bonsai first appeared in 1988. While earlier floor sculptures clearly referenced war bunkers – a childhood experience that haunted his work for many years - the wall sculptures are paired down in scale as well as structure, their connotations left more open-ended than before. Bandau cites these works as being inspired by modern architecture from the 1930s that he encountered in Tel Aviv. There is an arresting tension created between the external and internal nature of the forms.  Narrow slats and openings reveal lightness and entryways while the rigid lead surfaces seem impenetrable from a distance. “My small pieces for the wall are, for the most part, open, architectural bodies that afford insights and informative views, while at the same time their formal structure remains recognizable and transparent.”

Born in Koln, Germany in 1936, Joachim Bandau’s sculptures, installations and watercolour paintings have been exhibited internationally including at Neues Museum, Nürenburg (2017); Kunsthalle, Basel (2017); Sammlung Kunst aus Nordrhein-Westfalen, Aachen (2008); the Drawing Centre in New York (2002); Kunst aus Nordrhein-Westfalen Berliner Kunstverein (1989) and Documenta 6 (1977). His work is held in museum collections including Le Centre Pompidou, Paris; De Young Museum, San Francisco; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen; Museum van Heedendagse Kunst, Antwerp and the Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel.

For more information on this artist, click here.