Opening: September 3, 2009
Duration: September 4–October 3, 2009 MUSA Startgalerie, Vienna, AT

A Master of Reductionist Architectures of Desire

If there is such a thing as a young contemporary generation of painters, and if, as it seems, they show a strong interest in spatial depictions, then Fabian Patzak is undoubtedly one of their most outstanding representatives. The atmosphere of his reductionist, almost sober oil paintings are reminiscent of Edward Hopper or Charles Sheeler, however Patzak’s grisaille palette renders them more condensed. Even before having read their titles, they portray quintessentially American interiors suggestive of classics by Hitchcock, Woody Allen, or Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy; spaces that narrate vastness and openness as well as the intensity of New York as a center of the arts - without catering to drama or kitsch. His oil-on-wood miniatures possess an even more impressive intensity: among them, Windows on Oxford Street, which resembles a linocut, subtly breaks the subject’s sobriety.

The prevailing mood of solitude, that alongside their interest in space distinguishes this generation of young Viennese artists, is intensely present in Patzak’s work. Solitude expressed through emptiness, dominates the interior paintings in this exhibition. One is literally drawn into these completely refined idylls, and begins to relish the peace and breadth, because – although it might not sound like it - Fabian Patzak’s paintings are anything but depressing or melancholic; he paints the silence amidst turmoil. He paints what could be seen if all things unclear, hectic, confusing were to vanish from the scene, and only the “now” remain. The works on exhibit are architectures of desire, quite capable of communicating this silence.

Wolfgang Pichler