See Artist Gregor Gleiwitz’s New Paintings That Abstract Nature to Expressive Effect

These swirling, kaleidoscopic canvases remain on view at Setareh gallery in Düsseldorf until January 20.

Detail of Gregor Gleiwitz, 06.09.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.

A new series of large-scale abstract paintings by Gregor Gleiwitz at Setareh gallery in Düsseldorf are inspired by the natural world, which may not seem obvious at first glance. The works are filled with whirling organic forms, but these contain a frenetic expressivity and vibrant palette that feels entirely hyperreal. Rather than reflecting the world back at us, Gleiwitz has succeeded in capturing the unpredictable, all-enveloping tenor of our emotional responses to it.

Born in Poland in 1977, Gleiwitz currently lives and works in Berlin. He recalled venturing out for long walks in the fields near his studio to make watercolor studies en plein air, which left him inspired by how the sun’s rays bring lightness and, with it, meaning to our lives. “The canvas is the light space in which the experienced world takes on a new form as a result of the stream of consciousness,” he said.

Gregor Gleiwitz in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Each painting is an impression that belongs to a particular day, which is why Gleiwitz gives as each work’s title its date of completion. “Seeing is wandering, landscape is figure, and the picture is a portrait,” he said. “Searching anew every day, following the sun inside and out.”

By layering glossy paint that Gleiwitz then freely scrapes, smears, and swirls across the canvas with a palette knife, he is able to achieve a pleasingly lyrical effect that is alternately enlivening and lulling. In this way, he foregrounds how our experiences of the external world are always mediated by our senses. This offers an interesting twist on the return to the pleasures of whimsical, floral art in contemporary art, which has felt very of the zeitgeist in recent months.

“Within a German painting tradition which has grown out of the accomplishments of masters from Gerhard Richter through Albert Oehlen, Gregor Gleiwitz has developed a distinct oeuvre of near abstraction,” said Lee Plested, director of the gallery. “Incorporating the mystical dimensions of the expressive, Gleiwitz is able to push beyond the literal image to realize planes of encounter which resonate in multiple dimensions and temporalities while maintaining the underlying presence of their physical origins.”

“Sun Script” is on view at Setareh gallery in Düsseldorf and online through January 20. Check out more paintings from the show below. His work will also be included in “Nature Studies,” a forthcoming two person exhibition with Miron Schmückle at the gallery’s Berlin location from February 8 until Mary 9, 2024.

Gregor Gleiwitz, 08.10.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.

Gregor Gleiwitz, 06.09.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.

Gregor Gleiwitz, 17.08.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.

Gregor Gleiwitz, 25.07.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.

Gregor Gleiwitz, 16.05.2023 (2023). Image courtesy of Setareh Gallery, Berlin.


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