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Nick Oberthaler. Zweifel und Gnade/Le Doute et la Grâce



Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris from 25 November 2011 to 7 January 2012

- signed copy

(English/French)
Nick Oberthaler is a draftsman who uses intriguing techniques. Though he likes to refer to his works as ‘drawings’, he also works with paint and ink, which he further combines with pasted-on fragments. He remains partial to paper as his “canvas”, due to its fragile quality. The marks that he makes on it are unalterable. The paper is sometimes damaged, and he likes to treat it roughly.
 
Paper is a delicate surface that also enables the artist to create very understated pieces. He works with a variety of materials like ink and wax, pastel and gouache or watercolor, which create unpredictable effects and a tension on the paper’s surface.
In his compositions, Nick Oberthaler uses numerous media: photographs, photocopies of images found in books, magazines or on the internet… Untitled (vertical horizon/after Philip de Koninck) (2011) is a small drawing in ink and pastel. The materials are visibly superimposed one atop another; large brush strokes frame the center, which is occupied by a postcard glued on its flip side. One recognizes the famously nebulous skies, characteristic of landscapes by De Koninck, which the artist partially concealed using a thick black stripe. The spatial aspects of the drawings are constructed in relation to a perspective whose vanishing point, within this postcard, appears like a window on an off-center horizon.
 
(Source: ropac.net)