What does your personal shrine look like
The works of Christoph Schrein transport the viewer into a new space-time structure with their undulating, flowing streams of color. The artist creates light-reflecting structures that float through the air like metallic veils, wind around one another in their weightlessness and superimpose one another. The abstract acrylic glass paintings from his TARA series evoke the complex illusion of spatial depth and create new spheres beyond the existing reality. Shrine lets the viewer discover the spatial structure from different perspectives - his works ensure deceleration and a brief pause.
The artist applies the oil paint with a special brush technique and paints the acrylic medium on both sides. His traces are barely visible in the work: The monochrome pictures seem to arise out of themselves, the supernatural matter of shimmering shades of color has developed a life of its own. There is no beginning and no end, there is no subtle message - the veils of color move weightlessly on a meta-level far away from stigmatizing discourses.
In his work, Christoph Schrein always strives for unity and an inner necessity so that the painting “reveals and unfolds its innermost being”. In this way he succeeds in creating a sublime matter which, with its gentle undulations and shiny light reflections, has existed since ancient times - and due to its preciousness no longer seems to have arisen from human existence, but from something supernatural.
Christoph Schrein studied painting at the Kleinsassen art station and at the Academy for Fine Arts in Enschede. The artist first explored the space between sculpture and painting, until he finally devoted himself entirely to abstract painting and developed an unmistakable visual language. Schrein has already been represented at numerous exhibitions, such as the KUBOSHOW art fair. He lives in Leipzig.
Tell us about your work.
What appeals to me is the investigation of new forms of representation, experimenting with the material and exploring the limits of the medium of painting.
In my paintings, an image space arises in seemingly flowing movement. By superimposing undulating streams of color, I initiate an illusion of spatial depth. Especially for this I have developed a technique on acrylic glass in which I apply the paint on both sides of the picture carrier. The glass layer between the two colored surfaces thus becomes part of the spatial illusion and enhances the three-dimensional effect of the picture. The result is a body of light that lets the painting shine out of itself.
My paintings should give the viewer the opportunity to immerse themselves in what he sees. To experience a moment of contemplation and deceleration in light, color and space. The focus here is on subjective experience and the dialogue between the viewer and the image.
In the work process, I use large-format brushes and squeegees that I have made myself with different properties to create the finely lined shapes and movements. The development of the composition is like getting to the core of the picture. You have to let yourself go and yet concentrate on evaluating every step of the image construction. I am looking for an inner necessity for the image, a life of its own, something that arises and cannot be thought. This moment is my motivation and always amazes me when I stand in front of the finished work and it becomes bigger than my imagination.
What or who inspires you?
The work of Anish Kapoor had a strong influence on me when I was a student and it still does today. His works develop a kind of suction effect that one cannot avoid. It moves on the threshold of our perceptual limits and contains references to larger contexts. The metaphysical polarity of presence and absence in his work leaves out an evocative process that touches places and experiences that are firmly anchored in our subconscious, thereby initiating questions about personal experience and being.
How does your hometown affect your work?
Leipzig is the city of painters. There is a diversity and a high level of artistic and painterly positions here, and not just because of the Leipzig School. Existing structures such as galleries, museums and studios promote this potential. It is simply a great enrichment to always have the opportunity to see interesting contemporary art or renowned classics.
But I even find the basic attitude of the people here much more important to work. Leipzig is a place of openness, hospitality and tolerance. You are quickly accepted and find your place. By the second visit at the latest, you are almost Leipzig.
Where do you find inspiration on your travels?
Often my travel destinations are linked to seeing certain exhibitions, such as the Weather project by Olafur Elliason at Tate Modern / London or William Kendridge in San Francisco.
Most of the time I plan trips to discover certain natural events. I want to experience and absorb the light, experience the atmosphere, spatial dimensions and natural processes. Usually sketches and photographs are created, which then serve as the basis for new work. It is experiences from trips like the Himalaya Mountains or the Great Barrier Reef that inspire me. A kind of transfer of the sensual experience of something sublime and precious into the artificial space of the image.
The next destination on the plan is Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Erosion has created a place where time becomes visible - in a way, a mirror of my artistic work.
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