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Is it to be continued ?
Some would argue, or even be convinced, that one is before sections of a movie that the observer convincingly tries to remember and fails to find out. No one knows what follows. It does not follow. These images are created for an unique instant and spot: Markus Fräger´s canvases, where they are born and eventually perpetuate. Each scene responds to the re-creation that a canvas feeds and to the masterly skills of an artist fully aware of his environment and time.
It does happen that things come together and produce a great picture. Fascinating it is. A former archeology student interested in art history became a musician for a while and rediscovered a passion for painting in the Germany´s late 90s. Markus Fräger recalls the influences of that time: “My father was an artist,” he points out. “Thanks to him, I learnt drawing the nature, but then I started to study archeology, and art history and founded a music band. I really meant all this. But I moved to Cologne Germany back then in the 90s and started to paint,” Fräger explains.
Even though the figuration was not a big deal in Germany of that time, Fräger did know exactly how he would make a statement in it. While other well known painters like Gerhard Richter or Markus Lüpertz did paint figuratively, their orientation responded to classic parameters. The new form of figuration in painting seemed to erupt with the so called Leipziger Schule and the influence of painters like Neo Rauch. But Frager´s ambitions in painting pave other ways to the understanding of a compound of art history, society and technical and artistic resources.
“I begin to paint something related to photo shootings that I had done in advance. I work here with actors and actresses, friends, neighbors and figures that seem interesting to me. I make the pictures based on it and sort them out in my computer: These images look polarized sometimes,” he Cologne based artist detailed.
“I shoot clear – dark figurative scenes. I combine them with others saved and would even take some cuts out of one scene and paste them into another one. After this, I start to figure out how these processed pieces could fit in and on a canvas by means of painting,” Fräger explains.
It sounds like a postediting procedure in which the Artist – he said- tends to be rational in the use of the technical tools of photography. Remarkable is the very the act of painting that Fräger understands as a dictation guided by the canvas towards the artist.
The preparation work goes deep into brainstorming processes along with pictures and the artist´s proposal of a photo montage that takes form in a canvas. In fact, this represents unique characterizations out of prolonged intents of an one visual match up suggesting a remote looking nostalgic storytelling which brings about fundamental questions concerning the beginning and end of an “alleged” plot.
Fräger´s research remains trials to reach the most satisfying result in the sake of the genuine story in the observer´s eyes. The fascination capitalises on Fräger´s skills to make it real, close, part of our suspected memories. “I really enjoy finding painting puzzles, the realisation of new ways and ideas that allow me to paint a genuine harmony of picture,” Fräger reveals. “Basically, my works make sense to me. At the end they are fiction, result of my own playwright,” he concludes.
Classic resources of the renaissance are clear part of Fraeger´s works, Chiaro oscuro, not only takes us to other times of the baroque paintings, but gives the impressions highlighted movies scenes that present social issues boiling in the artist being. The contemporary aspect relies with the fact the characters on Fräger´s works are proof of evidence of our present which seems to be shown like ghosts out of classic painting resources like impressionistic strokes and traces with picturesque attitude of the expressionism.
The artist pursues the perfection in the construction of his visual proposals, his paintings. He believes that it would results in an inadvertency of the narration genuinity. When asked about ambitions as an artist, he immediately made it clear: “I pursue the accuracy in the visual genuinity of my works. I think it would come as I get older.”
One would say that the accuracy is already in. May Markus Fräger´s fictitious stories be told !
Markus Fräger´s next solo exhibition “Aufkommende Erinnerung” will be held from 4th September until 19th October at the Friedmann Hahn Gallery, Berlin.
By Vincent Echenique