12. Jun. 2011 – 19. Jun. 2011

Shifting Realities

  • Dan Holdsworth
  • Michael Reisch
Dan Holdsworth, Blackout 22, 2010, C-Print, 226 x 177 cm, 3 + 2 AP


Scheublein Fine Art is pleased to present its first exhibition “Shifting Realities: Dan Holdsworth – Michael Reisch” at Sihlberg Castle, the former residence of the brewery family Hürlimann in Zürich.

The exhibition marks the inauguration of the castle as an exhibition space in which Scheublein Fine Art offers artists the opportunity to show important works of art in solo exhibitions and thematic group shows beyond the customary white cube context in an extraordinary living ambiance.

Analyzing the perception of reality through the photographic medium stands at the forefront of the artistic inquiry of both, Dan Holdsworth and Michael Reisch. By means of digital processing the artists shift reality to create images that hold a painterly quality and manifest themselves between the poles of attained memory and fantastic fiction.

The landscape images of Michael Reisch appear real upon first sight but are composed of many separate images that are fragmentarily put together under maximum resolution; a precision work that occupies the artist for months. Michael Reisch engages with iconic pictorial traditions of landscapes, yet subtly transforms them by the use of modern computer technology. The image no longer conforms to familiar sight and is reinvented, not least because of the transformed dimensions and perspectives that depart actual scale. In the vein of the Pre-Romanticist Swiss painter Caspar Wolf who in the 18thCentury found inspiration in the mountainous landscapes, the German photographer indulges in sublime fascination for the Alps more than two centuries later.

Aletsch Glacier, one of the few natural phenomena that are declared UNESCO world heritage, serves as subject for Michael Reisch’s panoramic image and as subliminal reference to the glacier melting in consequence of global warming. As counterpart to this horizontal format acts the vertical image “Landschaft” 9/001: the artist explores the inherent structure and aesthetics of a frozen waterfall in a way that approaches abstraction. This analysis is carried forward to the point where Michael Reisch eventually turns fully to abstraction. Ultimately, no real counterpart to the landscape in „o.T. (Untitled)“ 8/013 exists and the image is entirely computer generated.

Parallels resonate in the work of acclaimed British artist Dan Holdsworth. His most recent photographic series Blackout denies natural logic and likewise circulates between abstraction and realistic representation. For this work cycle, consisting of twenty-four works, the Great Northeast Blackout that extensively affected the USA in 1965 inspired the artist. Based on photographs taken in the South of Iceland, the glaciers seem to glow hypnotically despite a completely obscured sky. The beholder inevitably is reminded of the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland and the resulting smother that paralyzed the entire European air traffic. The large-scale photographic work of Dan Holdsworth, edited primarily through analogue process,almost transforms the gigantic mountainous scenery of Iceland into fictional landscape. Tectonic shifts are evident. Holdsworth’ negative images are double inversions; while they seem tangibly real, they suggest sublime abstraction at the same time. This series culminates with “Blackout 22” where solely an aesthetic model is visualized that brings painterly qualities to view.

The mountains suggest monumentality owing to their cut-out and isolated representation, and leave the beholder with the mere surmise of the actual dimensions. The dividing line between painterly composition and photographic reproduction is blurred. Nature’s multifariousness and inscrutable force is devoutly being reflected upon and serves as theme for the artistic visions of Michael Reisch and Dan Holdsworth.

Dan Holdsworth (B. 1974, Welwyn Garden City) studied photography at the University of the Arts London (BA Hons 1998). His photographic work earned him the Arts Council of England Award in 2002 and 2006. Numerous solo exhibitions distinguished the artist on international level, among them shows at the Nordin Gallery, Stockholm, Patricia Low, Geneva / Gstaad and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK. Dan Holdsworth further participated in international group exhibitions, for instance at the Institute for Contemporary Art, UK. His works are held in important public collections including the Tate Gallery, Saatchi Collection, London and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. The artist lives and works in Newcastle.

Michael Reisch (B. 1964, Aachen) studied photography and sculpture at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and completed thereafter a studio arts program in photography with Professor Bernd Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1991). Michael Reisch won several grants, for example by the Foundation Cartier and the Kunstfonds Bonn. Since then Michael Reisch has been internationally presented in various solo exhibitions, among others at Galerie Hengesbach in Cologne & Berlin and Bischoff / Weiss London. Further his works were featured in numerous national and international group shows (Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung München/ Kunsthal Rotterdam) and are also part of major public collections including LACMA, Los Angeles and National Galleries, Edinburgh. The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf.