Dec 23, 2016

Andy Denzler: Art in Motion

After two successful solo shows in 2016, Andy Denzler is an artist in demand.
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Andy Denzler

Andy Denzler’s works are at once frozen in time and in perpetual motion. They are a snapshot of the life of his subjects, as if we the viewer or more aptly bystander are witnessing some private insight into a moment of solitude where the subject is at their most vulnerable. Yet, by applying a sense of motion and time, we are invited to see much more than that single solitary snapshot, we are invited into the story.

Influenced by the abstract expressionists from the 50s and the geometric painters of Switzerland, Denzler’s painting roots were formed through a decade of work in the abstract form. Then in the early 2000s he started to translate the photographic elements of his abstract paintings into figurative works.
Working wet on wet, he paints against time. Beginning with a pencil sketch or thinned oil paint to define the basis for his figures, he then develops with oil paint to give the image identity with generously applied layers of paint.

‘The appearance of two different layers on the painting exhibits the past and the present, or fiction and reality.’

It is no coincidence that Denzler’s work is at its most striking when combined with motion in an almost cinematic form. He originally started working at a young age as a photographer and graphic designer.

“I’m principally concerned with addressing time and evoking a narrative through composition, light, and motion,” he says. “I depict time by applying a filter of blurred movement.”
To add his trademark distortion effect, he uses a palette knife to blur the wet paint, usually in a vertical fashion. It is this palette knife that brings the paintings to life. An image of someone becomes a moment in their life, a landscape becomes a scene in an untold story.

Denzler understands this well and plays with the viewer to enhance its impact:

‘The characters in my work are mostly friends or people I know. I am not really after a narrative. As much as I am concerned with movement, I prefer to be suggestive at most, implying only a mood or feeling. Any type of moralizing or story telling is intended to be frozen, inert, non-revealing to the viewer. I am generally after an expressive documentation of situations plausible enough, but aloof and distanced, in which the viewer must not be distracted with narrative, and where he may engage rather in expression, material and execution of the work.’
It is his technical excellence combined with a wider understanding of the emotive response of the viewer that makes Andy Denzler such an absorbing painter with a loyal collector base. His works can be enjoyed structurally, dissecting his beguiling technique, or on a more instinctive emotional level as you become absorbed in the moment of the story depicted, whatever it may be.

His reputation both critically and in the wider art market grows with each ambitious exhibition. Retrospectives at institutions like Ludwig Museum, Koblenz and Kunsthalle, Dresden show his rising importance to the story of contemporary art. Comparisons to other artist are common, but there are few artists who match Denzler’s ability to ambitiously and decisively move paint around the canvas and create a sense of time and movement that leaves the viewer’s senses continuously stirred.