Figuration, central perspective, composition – none of these play any role whatsoever in the work of Heinz Mack. In their place, criteria like structure and pattern, sequence and repetition, rhythm and vibration took precedence from the start. The parallels of his serial structures with the reduced forms of modern and contemporary music based on repetition, with the twelve-tone technique, with musical minimalism, with the serial music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass are no coincidence, but instead result almost of necessity. This is because music is of central importance in the life of the artist, next to his actual profession: at the start of his career, Heinz Mack studied piano and discovered a love of the “swinging rhythm” of jazz in the 1960s in New York. He is accompanied and inspired by music in his work: by Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Ravel, Stravinsky, Messiaen and Ligeti. The artist still plays piano regularly today and refers to some of his colourful scores as “keys”.
“The autonomy of my painting must have the same significance is it has in music”, the artist emphasises. “I also suppose that my musicality and my interest in timbres and rhythms influence my painting. Music and painting are two beautiful sisters, who must both be loved equally.”
One might call the Colour Chromatic of 1992, drawn with pastel chalk on handmade paper, an orchestration in a minor key. It is defined by subtle colouring, which one sees less often in the work of the artist. Rich in nuances, the individual shades transition into one another, develop from left to right from dark brown through orange coloured hues to yellow and even blue green in the right section of the picture. Rectangular forms that are slightly offset and interlocked with one another using hatching develop in vertical and horizontal rows. Sometimes darker and more subtle, sometimes a little brighter and more delicate, the individual cadences join to form a quiet melody of colour.
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