Since the early days of his career, Rainer Fetting is preoccupied with precisely unresolved territories in painting that can never provide clear answers or certainties, but instead pose a multitude of questions, creating conflicts and uncertainties. Free B. Spirit – the exhibition title already indicates Fetting’s attitude of going against the grain, of opposing rules, and a certain zeitgeist. How much he does this indeed, perhaps only becomes clear with the historic distance of looking back at an artistic career spanning more than forty years.
Fetting’s expressive portraits, city- and landscapes in the exhibition manage to capture psycho-social energies which reveal themselves in every painterly decision. On one and the same canvas dry strokes, jotted down in a seemingly careless fashion, violently collide with islands, clumps of pastose paint, or dark patches, reminiscent of the old masters. However, at no point does Fetting’s work become overloaded with symbols, nor does it ever resort to irony. Perpetually moving along the lines of abstraction, it remains surprisingly open-ended within the confines of its composition. In a conversation with Robert Grunenberg, Fetting remarks in 2019: “Basically, you can always continue to work on a painting – it’s just like everything that is perpetually changing in real life, too: the sky, atmospheric conditions, the weather. All of this is subject to permanent flux.”
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