Ottmar Hörl's series of paintings (first started in 2017) is based on nonfigurative painting in monochrome colours. Their titles, structure and colouration are reminiscent of plant structures, of nature, or even of Albrecht Dürer's "The Large Piece of Turf". Ottmar Hörl has also been developing an innovative approach to photography since 1982, dispensing with an individual mark of the artist. It is not the photographer's eye that captures the landscape through the viewfinder, but a camera in motion. The photographic image of a landscape dissolves into a vortex of colour. All this results in an extended definition of photography and the attempt to "create a space for human intention in a world dominated by apparatuses" (Vilém Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography).
"Ottmar Hörl's art operates with the images and ideas of our culture. However, he does not simply reproduce them, but consistently brings them to the point using the serial principle. His works are always related to the context and intrinsic to the material. In this way, he succeeds in putting the cultural and historical field of meaning up for discourse again and in making new dimensions visible and accessible to us." (Professor Dr Meinrad Maria Grewenig, director general of Völklingen Ironworks World Cultural Heritage Site, European Centre of Art and Industrial Culture)
Never before had an artist chosen such a simple motif as a piece of grassland as his sole subject matter, and so radically captured it in a picture. Albrecht Dürer's "The Large Piece of Turf" (1503) remains one of the most famous nature studies in art history to this day. For the first time, Ottmar Hörl has developed new formulations for painting that refer to Dürer's watercolour. He has created two series of unique works in portrait format – all of them pictures that touch the eyes and soul, that let us rethink art, the cosmos, the concept of nature in the 21st century, and perception itself. Each individual piece of turf is an abstract approach, painted in acrylic directly on canvas (without stretcher).
Text: Eva Schickler
Photos: Annette Kradisch