Exhibition of Michael Huth

Five years ago when Michael Huth exhibited his paintings at the exhibition in Split, I described his works as an interesting example of fruitful dualities and of conscious nomadism that is characteristic for Neo-mannerism at the turn of the century. The titles of his works exhibited in 2003. showed that he was rather absorbed by doubts and questions about being faithful to his manner of painting. “Why should I go on?” and “I’d rather not” were the titles that revealed his awareness of the limits that exist in a routine painting procedure. Moreover, they disclosed the skepticism that went beyond the conventional and traditional virtues of fine painting. Nevertheless, in the meantime, Huth has managed to create some symbols and forms, some surfaces and structures that he could stand behind; or rather he could finally accept and be content with. A lot of his paintings were the result of reluctance and deflection, with frequent repetition and “suffering”, which, after so many attempts, finally showed dynamics and dialectics of a live relationship that could never be characterized as an apathetic “well done” surface. When I wrote a foreword to the exhibition in 2003, I was not acquainted with all of his poetic premises, but I made some conclusions about the character of his painting on the basis of his exhibited works. However, Michael Huth, in the catalogue of the 2003 exhibition, quoted a few statements that testify his radical position. First he referred to Buffet by saying that “painting shouldn’t be confused with courteousness”, then he mentioned Beckett who defended the painter who declared that he was not able to paint, “because there was nothing worth painting and there was nothing he could paint with”. At last he referred to Thomas Bernhard who ironically interpreted the experience that “every kind of art always ended up in awkwardness and ludicrousness, in the refuse bin of the history, as all other things”, but we “must proudly believe in great and supreme art”. Tonko Maroević
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