schleie farbe lief, hing verdingt wie nebel vorm angesicht, sattsam gemach, ziggerandet; die um die ecke zu jener frisch gezackten schönheit hingreift, ihrer leuchtenden schuldhaftigkeit nach.

formschaft entwickelt aus geschicknis geschehnisse, um daraus färbig verfärbt ordnen und schließen zu dürfen; was lediglich komparativ, am färbigsten strapaziert, daß rot nur in der dreieinigkeit zufällig ist, weil willkür bestimmt, was zufällig gewohnte verhältnisse nennt.

so scheut rot keine feigen untergriffe um rot zu sein und reißt an der zunge das maul, bis es sich den schwanz blutig beißt oder rifft thrombosen in furchen, die in mauerfeldern kruststarr solange gerinseln; daß sie vor allen anderen heidnischen farben, im augenblick der dreieinigkeit, christlich armiert rot sind. gewahr ihrer feinde entsetzt sie sich ihrer gegensätze, um sie im verein ihrer dreieinigkeit totzuschlagen; bezwingt in die fläche gedrängt, brandschatzen sie farbe, die sich in ihrer zielrichtung rot entfacht. findet sich dabei in rage geraten und ihres sinnes beraubt, bindet sie sich aus dieser defekten deutung ihrer bedeutung los und widersteht so dem, was im absoluten vollkommenheitsfimmel, die ästhetisch zwecklosen persönlichkeitsfuchtler schon immer faselten; nämlich: daß rot zufall ist!

norbert brunner – lienz, 1988

Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman is proud to invite you to its tenth solo exhibition by Florin Kompatscher. The title to his first show at our Vienna branch the artist has chosen in memoriam of his friend, the East Tyrolean artist Norbert Brunner-Lienz (1959–2014). This reminiscence moreover makes clear what a fruitful source of inspiration literature has been for Kompatscher’s art, which, being closely related to the art of language, comes to life only inside another, in the sense of something turned inside out. 

schleie farbe lief are the first words of a powerfully eloquent text composed by Brunner-Lienz for Kompatscher in 1988, entitled von der dreieinigkeit der farbe und, daß rot kein zufall ist! (lit. On the trinity of colour and that red is no accident). Although Kompatscher’s art has been in constant flux for more than three decades, these lines are still as pertinent today as they were twenty-seven years ago: rhythmically arrhythmic, flowingly halting, gentle and hard, ephemerally durable, haptically ungraspable. On the one hand bearing concrete reference to his art, on the other dancing around it, and deliberately leaving gaps, Brunner-Lienz’ words reflect in a unique manner the magic effect that Kompatscher’s pictures have on the observer. So read the text by Brunner-Lienz, allow it space to reverberate, and bank on being prepared for what happens when you intentionally let yourself in for Kompatscher’s 

painting. His pictures bespeak the borders of rational conceivability, and with their incredible wealth of associations speak to our subconscious. What they ask of us is to enter into a direct dialogue with the work of art and to experience it on its own terms, at the risk of sooner or later succumbing to its magic. 

Kompatscher’s varied oeuvre bears testimony to the artist’s comprehensive knowledge, as far as both composition and technique are concerned, and his practical mastery of the highest level. His painting is not about creating mimetic likenesses. Much rather, it is the result of a painstaking confrontation of the artist with the medium as such, the elementary questions of which, in combination with a palpable authenticity, are in the process poured into pure painting, painting as matter coming in manifold aggregation states. Kompatscher’s pictures waver between consciousness and subconsciousness in the observer’s mind and present precise shapes amidst spherical colour combinations in a dynamic duality of plane and space. The juxtaposition of supposedly contrary things in a sort of floating balance also holds up a candid mirror to our life in a digitalised and computerised society. Kompatscher adapts our visual world, as an aspect of this reality, by frequently painting “analogously” with “digital” support. The open painting process is the principal concept of his painting practice. Just as there is constant change in nature, this practice has been in constant flux since its very beginnings. 

Florin Kompatscher, born in Bolzano (Italy) in 1960, in the years from 1981 to 1986 studied with Carl Unger and Adolf Frohner at the University of Applied Art in Vienna. Ever since, he has had numerous international exhibitions, that have caused a lasting echo in the media not least due to many a catchy title: Trip de Roche (Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck 2012), Der Himmel hatte Fieber (Kunstverein Offenburg-Mittelbaden 2012), Wake Up Before You Go Purple (Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich 2010), Die Scherbe des Himmels (Galerie Strickner, Vienna 2010), My Brain is on an Elevator 

(Galerie Eva Bracke, Berlin 2009), Der scharfe Rand der Erde (Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck 2008), Purple & Asphalt (Forum Kunst, Rottweil 2007), Alles Andere is wahr (Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck 2006), Die Lange Heimat (Kunstverein Heilbronn 2006), or dumdidldauda (kjubh Kunstverein, Cologne 2002), to mention but a few. After spending several years abroad (in Italy, Spain and France), Kompatscher moved to Berlin where he has been living together with his partner Maria Brunner since 2003.