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Markus Linnenbrink | MONA Portsmouth

Photos by Julia Featheringill provided by MONA, Portsmouth

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German-born Brooklyn-based artist Markus Linnenbrink will unveil a comprehensive overview orchestrating the interconnectedness of his different bodies of work.

Throughout the three main gallery spaces, the visitor finds paintings, sculpture, a portable installation, and a site-specific painted room where every surface—walls, ceiling, floor—is a feast of color, pattern, and gesture.

The works vary in form, yet they all are linked by his consistent experimental use of vibrant color, and a rich process that blends what the artist calls “drips, drills, and reverses” with spontaneous attention to the behavior of his materials. The overall impression of this show is one of joy, energy, and vivid life.

Like music, colors create their own space. Taken in this light, they can open doors for us to experience the self and its surroundings in surprising and meaningful ways. Like music, colors also occupy our minds, not in a straight analytical way, but on very complex emotional, sensual, and seductive levels.

Working with color gives me a way to offer and create dialogues between viewer and object: here at MONA, there is a fully painted room installation, sculptures, paintings, works on paper, and ceramics. The range of works offered, together with a video giving insight into the production of the installation, provides the viewer with ample opportunities to enter the offered dialogue. A selection of painted chairs allows visitors to move around the galleries with the opportunity for repose and to experience the chosen work with more time and contemplation. With close inspection, one can discover that any given color can thrive in the right environment, connect to its neighbors, and shine.

“Every color can be combined with any other color as long as the necessary context is created and a dialogue between them is enabled. They seem to say that even the contrary can be led together in conversation.”

(Daniel Schreiber, The coloring of life, Markus Linnenbrink’s Spaces of Color and Image, essay in Off the Wall, catalogue Kunsthalle Nuernberg)

If we are willing to see and understand the beauty of colors, their appearance, and their emotional powers, we can take these experiences from the museum back into our lives." 

Markus Linnenbrink, August 2021