Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer pours layers of colour mass onto wooden bases. He applies these layers in different ways. Sometimes they are stacked on top of each other and parallel to the wooden surface, so that the top layer appears to be a monochromatic pictorial surface. Other times he applies them vertically onto the wood, so that seen from the front the layers resemble vertical or horizontal stripes. Yet other times his layers are a combination of these two different methods. In this last case, Harald Schmitz- Schmelzer first pours the colour parallel to the surface and then rotates the mould, or vice-versa – he pours vertically and then parallel to the wood. In each case he obtains a rectangular painting object with five visible sides which, when put together, create a combination of monochromatic and striped colour surfaces. For his wooden bases, Schmitz-Schmelzer uses laminated wood or strong grained wood. Yet, he doesn’t sentence these bases to an existence in the dark, as mere image carriers. The layers of the wood remain just as visible as the colour layers. The wood is part of the painting composition, and wood and paint always engender a certain relationship to one another. The physical creative process, the pouring of colours – which have to solidify first before pouring the next layer – doesn’t allow for any expressive gestures.
Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer’s art is a rather systematic process. His art complies with serial trial arrangements which deal with various inter-related pictorial dimensions. While doing this he achieves a very special conjuncture between material, shape and content. His works are the very subject matter made flesh, his “synthetic substance” in exactly this ambiguity. Since the Renaissance, artists have tried to capture space in their paintings, whether in representations containing perspective or in abstract colour spaces. Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer produces the pictorial space by literally entering it. His space is no longer illusion but practical consequence of his artistic action. By regarding colour as substance and painting as layered colour application, he doesn’t achieve a pictorial representation of space but rather creates the real space. The aesthetic effect of his paintings derives exactly from this reduction to the essential.Download the artist biography