Canadian Art MAGAZINE, Summer 2006 <>
Eintracht (harmony), an installation of new photo-based work by Frank Mädler on view at The Corkin Shopland Gallery October 29 2005 - January 28 2006.
With increasing interest the art world is looking to East Germany because there is a perceptible buzz about the creative movement happening there. The Leipzig academy for painting and architecture opened in 1764 and it has been a center for the graphic arts, since. But more recently the school has become the center of the German magnifying glass and Leipzig graduate Frank Mädler is at the center of the photo movement there.
Mädler created his Canadian exhibition on view at The Corkin Shopland Gallery October 29 2005 - January 28 2006 entitled, Eintracht (harmony) with the support of the prestigious the German Bursary prize comprised of 50 thousand euros prize money and a residency at the Villa Masimo in Rome. This new body of work, which he completed in Rome consists of 7 suites of photographs that are exhibited in pairs, sequentially, as single images or in a grid. The collection of minimalist pictures show coloured coded competition doves that appear to stand still in solo or in flock formations over ocean soaked Cuban skies or in the imperial coloured blue air of Spain or Rome.
The artist employs his camera’s frame as a function to capture the mathematics of the sublime in the Technicolor timelessness, his encapsulations offer both an elusive promise and nothing. Mädler’s compositions converge and diverge simultaneously so that the birds appear to be ascending and descending at once hovering somewhere between seduction and irritation. Several important German curators have written about Mädler’s work including Stephen Berg, Tanja Dückers, Katharina Menzel and Christopher Tannert who seem to claim that Mädler’s photographs occupy two realms at the same time, one of complete abstraction and other concrete representation.
Mädler studied with Astrid Klein at Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts. Klein is known for having taken up the Bauhaus legacy of experimental photography underscoring their predilection for grids thereby extending the school’s formal language. Like his teacher, who is recognized as a fine editor, Mädler takes 2-3 years to complete and edit a series. Each body of his work contains a selection of only 7 to 10 pictures. Mädler’s baroque compositions can be described as cinematic, but his exquisite pictures refuse narrative interpretation. His pictures are remarkable for their closeness to painting because of their analytical study of colour and structure, in this manner make claim postwar German photographers like Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hanna Darboven, and Gunther Forg and painters from Gerhard Richter to Sigmar Polke to Anselm Kiefer.