"Albrecht Schnider devotes a new group of works to monochromatic planes of colours, two each paired on a white sheet of paper. The works elaborate on a small group of prints created between 2006 and 2008. They are all in portrait format and identical size: 21 by 14.8cm. They are printed on paper produced by Hahnemuhle FineArt with a paperweight of 190 grams per square meter.
They are studies, intimate studies.
Now things get serious. And everyone knows there is nothing more serious than play. Play? Play and seriousness have convened here. Play plays with seriousness. Seriousness plays with play. Seriousness is serious about play. Play is serious about seriousness. Serious play and playful seriousness engage in play on a playing field that is always the same. Its dimensions are given. And, as mentioned, so is the size of the team: two players. The playing field physically delimits the game. The two shapes are not confined to the paper; they refer to something beyond the playing field. Art as an excerpt, as part of a potentially larger something. The art focuses on where things come together, which is where the excitement comes in. We will return to this.
What is going on here? We have to slow down.
So: what we see are excerpts of shapes. That's vital because they are always excerpts - we never see any of them in their entirety. They are angular, though curves keep creeping in here and there. The curves might also have been formulated as angles.
But they are curves. To say they are rounded angles would not be quite accurate. They may well have been shaped as curves to begin with. The fact that these primarily angular shapes might also have curves increases their appeal. Most importantly, it increases the possibilities. But it undoubtedly increases their appeal as well, especially on considering when and where the curves come into play. the curves make the shapes more human. More organic. Less harsh, less geometric.
The colours are next. We note the recurrence of silver. Silver is easy to mix and match, the fashion world says. Silver matched everything. Silver can be lighter, but also darker than the matching colour. In the case of pink, it's darker. In some combinations, the two colours show similar values. Does more happen to the shapes in that case? For instance, the sheet with a green and a light blue shape: the shapes are not all that dissimilar; actually, they are almost identical. Almost. Expectations are frustrated. We also run into strong contrasts. Black is frequent. Iridescent colours are too. For example, dark green and neon yellow: an extreme, explosive combination. The opposite: light blue and brown.
Gentle. But are shapes gentle too?
The point of departure was simple: two planes each different in colour on a white ground.
The possibilities are boundless. Psycho play? Physical play? What comes first to the artist's mind? The shape? Followed by the colour? Or is the colour already in his head when the shape is defined?
Let us proceed. Two. Never just one. And never three either. Always two. Two together. Two that come together. Are they always the same pair? A pair that varies in shape and colour? Or are they all different pairs? In any case, they are always clearly defined. They each have a clearly outlined identity - of which we only see an excerpt. They show their colours and keep their shape. We can see each of them in isolation. And yet when they meet, they undoubtedly colour each other. So much so, that it's almost impossible to see one without the other. One - all by itself - doesn't exist. It is influenced by the other. Thoughts of individual psychology and philosophy from Adler and Buber to Levinas and Blanchot keep coming to mind. So do one-on-one confrontation: soccer, judo, sumo. Power play. Play turns into power."
Excerpts from Exhibition Catalogue Two, Albrecht Schnider & Marc Jancou Contemporary, Nothing More Serious Than Play, by Simon Maurer, translation by Catherine Schelbert.