And Is Like a Chameleon
Markus Saile’s first solo exhibition at the Markus Lüttgen Gallery is a precise observation of the structural openness that leads to the production of meaning. It bears the title “Das und gleicht dem Chamäleon”* [And Is Like a Chameleon] and is dedicated to the paradox of the conjunction “and”—without being a concrete expression, it is simultaneously able to produce an endless chain of possible relations. As a breaking point of language, “and” can both connect and separate. Its explosive power lies in creating contexts by means of relational differentiation, through which meaning is first established. With this in mind, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari write in A Thousand Plateaus: “This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb ‘to be.’”
In “Das und gleicht dem Chamäleon,” Saile explores the potential variability of these arrangements by translating the linguistic paradox of “and” into a visual context. In his paintings, this moment of separation and connection gains an entirely new quality, for as Saile overcomes the linearity of language and translates it to the image space and the exhibition space, he also opens up the possibility of representing simultaneity. Saile’s work is characterized by the way in which he allows the brushstrokes and marks, painting mediums and paint, gestures and forms—as well as the image and the canvas—to all be visible at the same time. His oil paintings seem like interwoven situations that are always in flux, snapshots of a process in which the coexistence of opposites constantly produces new determinants.
At Markus Lüttgen Gallery Saile has arranged his works on metal plates in order to create an additional conjunctive level and to enable new relationships between them. The panels fit in with the architecture of the rooms, framing it and yet simultaneously interrupting it by exceeding door frames or redefining room corners. The dull, matte color of the metal creates a contrast with the transparent appearance that pervades Saile’s paintings. What the artist evokes in this exhibition is the potential of the intermediate state, the perpetual possibility of a changed view. Although Kurt Schwitters once asserted that “one cannot paint the expression of the word ‘and, Saile enables us to experience it.
*quotation by Peter Bexte