Paul Schwer: The Shape of Things to Come


Pi Artworks London is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Germany artist Paul Schwer. Over the last year Schwer has had major solo exhibitions at Leopold Hoesch Museum and Kunstverein Ruhr Germany and IKOB in Belgium, though this is his first in the UK. The Shape of Things to Come features the artist's arresting Plexiglas sculptures alongside an intervention on the gallery's floor and walls. Schwer is a painters' painter, concerning himself primarily with the relationship between colour, space, light, and movement. His work, however, is far removed from the traditional two-dimensional canvas.

With a profoundly spatialized mode of painting Schwer produces sculptural installations charged with light and colour that appear to expand like evolving creatures on the verge of a luminous burst. He begins with flat Plexiglas plates painted with broad-brush strokes of coloured pigment. Then, in one transient moment, through high heat and considerable force, they are spun, twisted, and folded into complex labyrinthine forms. With this gesture, the two-dimensional picture plane is transformed into a dynamic, three-dimensional body of colour that captures the performativity of its making. The work reflects a tendency in contemporary painting practice to move beyond the two-dimensional plane and situate itself within the context of postmodern obsessions with acceleration and the materials of the modern city.

The inspiration for his intervention at Pi Artworks London is a photograph taken of a pergola in Istanbul. The decorative archway is transposed into a spatial drawing in black dye covering the floor and walls of the gallery with a web of fine lines. Embellishing the ink work are clusters of fluorescent tubes, wires, pigmented latex and warped polyester that cascade from the ceiling. The structure aggressively colonises the gallery with its colourful tentacles, transforming it with its luminous presence. Nestled within, are Schwer's Plexiglas sculptures that punctuate the space like nodes of frozen liquid within the interventions' chaotic matrix.

Schwer has exhibited extensively throughout his native Germany, Europe, as well as internationally, including China and Vietnam. Solo exhibitions include: Sport on 6 Istanbul Diary, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; Home, IKOB, Museum for Contemporary Art, Eupen, Belgium; Das Fruchtfleisch unserer Architektur (with Joris van den Moortel), Galeri Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany; and Travellin' Light, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen, Germany, all in 2013. Schwer has been the recipient of awards and scholarships including the 1995 Cité des Arts, Paris, France, Artist in Residence at Degussa Shanghai, China (2005-06), as well as the 2009 Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn, Germany. His works can be found in public collections throughout Germany, including the Deutsche Bank Collection, Düsseldorf, the Siemens Collection,  the NRW State Representation in Brussels, Belgium, and museums in Norway, Slovenia and China. Schwer studied under Professor Heerich at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Germany (1981-88), going on to become first a guest lecturer (2007-11), then a Deputy Professor of Painting (2011-12) at the Kunstakademie Münster. In 1984 he founded the interdisciplinary art project UnArt.

Installation Views