Nusser & Baumgart

Stefan Schessl - Michael Wesely

02 Dec 2011 - 28 Jan 2012

A different view
2 December, 2011 – 28 January, 2012

For their next exhibition, Nusser & Baumgart is pleased to present the two Munich artists Michael Wesely (*1963) and Stefan Schessl (*1967) in dialogue.

Although, at first glance, the photography of Michael Wesely and the paintings of Stefan Schessl seem to have little in common, the encounter of their works casts them in a different light. A congruity at the creative starting point emerges,
which can be described an undercurrent of previously-recognized images, an interest in another view of what an image is and what it can express in the respective medium: In his time-exposure photography, several of which with extremely long periods of exposure, Michael Wesely allows photographic images to emerge that repudiate a representational quality, just as Stefan Schessl, aided by various material processes, pushes painting to a point where it loses its figurative nature and is thereby “deconstructed”. With his time-exposure photographs, which sometimes take several years to complete, Michael Wesely captures not only a moment, but an entire period of time. In the process, images are generated that we are not used to:
Wesely’s photographic works are imbued with the lapse of time, the flow of movements and processes, without, however, directly depicting these.

Wesely dispenses with the notoriety of photographic realism by suspending the images - sometimes to a considerable degree—from any semblance of recognisability or the constraints of unambiguity.
He places the images in a continuous state of readiness, invites accidents, penetrates the mundanity of the superficial, chips away at the self-assured view and counters the conventional obduracy of representation with the blur of the vaguely supposed entity or action. In short, he casts doubt upon images of reality with the aid of the reality in his images.

- Jürgen Harten, excerpt from the publication “Michael Wesely. Time Works”, 2010, published by Schirmer/ Mosel -


The traces of wear and color smears in Stefan Schessl’s paintings and works on paper suggest a story, a possible lineage to graphic and figurative contexts, but are actually the result of a painting method in which the visible represents the remains of that which has been developed in an elaborate layering process and its subsequent removal.

"We can't get around the insight that in paintings just those categories, that generally allow us to percept them as such, can not be recognized. We stay blind in front of pictures. My sequences of procedures of growing complexity keep the paintings in a floating stage of indecidability and ambiguity, in which different possibilities of perception and interpretation exist simultaniously and unbiased. The nature of the serving hand, her instrumentality, is increasingly sabotaged." (Stefan Schessl)

Michael Wesely and Stefan Schessl do not attempt to interpret what is actually visible. In lieu of this, both artists allow a paradoxical autonomy of ambiguity to emerge - which, as possible reference points of ancillary aspects like space and time, appears to dissipate in the process. Moreover, the technical and material ascription for both positions becomes the explicit subject: traces - either from light or color - are layered and/or superimposed in a complex manner. These images, which are no longer pictorial, evoke a dense and sensuous experience that is as analytical as it is aesthetic.

Tags: Stefan Schessl, Michael Wesely