Simon Lee

Siegfried Anzinger

11 May - 18 Jun 2005

New Paintings
May 11 - June 18, 2005

Sprüth Magers Lee is proud to present new work by Austrian painter Siegfried Anzinger.

Anzinger's practice is borne out of a desire to question the possibilities of his medium. In this persistent investigation, Anzinger constantly makes and re-makes his compositions in an approach that is prolific and intense. Never settling for a shorthand lexicon of strokes or motifs, Anzinger works intimately with the paint and moves fluidly with his palette. Restricted by his allergy to oil thinner, Anzinger paints with water-based tempera colours that require layering and concentrated application to achieve darker and richer tones. Subsequently these often subdued and subtly mixed paints allow Anzinger to build up intensity and depth whilst leaving other areas more open and exposed.

Anzinger’s sensitivity in his representation of the fragility and vulnerability of the natural world, has earned him the reputation as one of the forerunners of the contemporary Austrian painting movement known as ‘New Painting’. New Painting was a term widely used during the 80’s to describe a group of Austrian artists whose work was characterised by its passage back to myth making and expressive painting techniques. Anzinger’s career spans over thirty years and it’s from his evident reverence and knowledge of European painterly tradition that his work has grown. Anzinger does not entertain notions of fashion in painting styles, he is very much concerned with his own process and its continued progression; making him a painter that withstands the critical tendency to locate and classify the artist and their work.

For Anzinger drawing is key and his sensitivity to painting is without doubt seen as a natural and ongoing development of this underpinning. Often using subjects and compositions that are evocative of the tableau, Anzinger draws heavily from the natural and figurative world in a way that is strongly reminiscent of the traditions of Classical painting. Anzinger is an expressive and gestural painter that works intuitively with the surface of the canvas, creating his works in singular dramatic movements. Despite this spontaneous method of working, Anzinger’s works are intricately imagined prior to their creation and executed with a deft and precise brush work that builds a basis from which an honesty of medium can develop.

Each work included in the exhibition contains a hidden drama that is revealed in every movement of the brush. All created within the last year, Anzinger’s new work marks a strong return to painting; with drawing as its close partner and foundation. With this, his first exhibition in the UK, Anzinger is set to garner more of the well deserved recognition he has enjoyed within Europe.

© Image: Kuhreigen, 2005
glue-bound distemper on canvas
47 x 59 in

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