Horst Bartnig
858 unterbrechungen, 859 striche in 430 graunuancen bis schwarz, 1990

Horst Bartnig has completed his training in stage design in the 1950s in Magdeburg and Weimar when in 1964 he came across an edition of Kazimir Malevich’s 1927 essay ‘The Non-Objective World’ – surprisingly, as it was officially banned – in the Berlin city library. For Bartnig it was a spiritually liberating find, giving him the final impetus to henceforth devote himself to the creative approach of Constructivist and Concrete art, even though these tendencies had been fully ostracized by state art ideology in the GDR. On the basis of certain mathematical and systematic principles, Bartnig started painting series of variations of basic geometric elements, exploring variable systems and structural constellations; his work takes account of the latest findings in physics, as well as computer software and analyses of musical compositions. Thus, while the title of the work acquired by the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection, 858 interruptions, offers a succinct formulation of his artistic elements, the 430 shades of grey generate above all a high degree of visual sensitivity and attraction.

Horst Bartnig

* 1936 Militsch, PL
Lives and works in Berlin, D

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