Solo exhibition: Oto Rimele, Anomalies
OTO RIMELE: ANOMALIES
Solo exhibition, ACE KIBLA Maribor
KiBela Gallery, 25.5. – 10.6.2018
Oto Rimele’s Anomalies are visual exceptionalities, two-dimensional canvases with a three-dimensional effect, in which we perceive the length, surface and volume at the same time. Through the movement of the observer across the gallery space, Rimele adds the “fourth” dimension – the dimension of time, which is related to the duration of the observer’s presence at the exhibition space. It is only through this kind of co-existence that anomalies (in this case, by means of artistic intervention) are created: the observer defines the subject matter of the works subjectively, and retrospectively. Each of the works thus becomes an anomalous image, a subjective emergence of a visual perspective that is reflected in the gallery space. The image becomes a proper object: it is there, because we see it; it is not there, because we are not there.
Oto Rimele is a contemporary abstract impressionist, however, unlike, for example, Claude Monet, he does not bring his fascination with the moment of light to a stop, but rather gives it direction and thereby shifts the responsibility onto the viewer, who is there to catch that moment. Rimele’s painting becomes a mental visualization, which the viewer experiences (much like an impressionist fleeting instant, only without the fixation) as a subjective nonmaterial image, through which the artist conveys his visual message. In fact, Rimele’s only painterly motif is light itself. His creative process is all about optics: optical processes enable the generation of colored light in a painting, which means that the visual (painterly) image is what really shapes the color and the light of the work. The process of constructing the visual composition therefore includes a dematerialization of the material part of the painting – it is about actual colored light, produced in-situ by means of Rimele’s painterly composition, which through a reflection of the nonmaterial capitalizes on the minimalist but entirely natural color scale.
On this occasion, we are showcasing a selection of the artist’s works created between 2003 and today. The exhibition offers an insight into a specific artistic development, one that Rimele embarked upon metamorphically already in the previous century: an apotheosis of the gallery space that aims to elevate the exhibition setting to the level of “mental ambiance”. It does so in two ways, physically and psychologically. Rimele offers to us two worlds, the natural gallery space with natural light, and the artificial, darkened space lit by electrically produced light. If the painterly image is lit by daylight, then, in accordance with the changing of light in nature (and consequently in the ambiance), the image will change as well, and with it the intensity of the color radiation. The opposite, of course, happens inside a “classic” gallery setting. Natural light is dynamic, unlike the artificial, where the optical placement is (in most cases) static.
Light is an essential part of communicating with the audience; it is the medium that creates the magic of material transformation. Rimele is unique in offering us an entirely new type of formulating a painting’s subject matter. Usually painters address us through form, by means of direct, frontal depiction. Rimele, on the other hand, seeks to withdraw the image, i.e. the painted form, and express the subject matter only indirectly, using color and its immaterial presence as light, with the aim of addressing the viewer and pointing him to the sphere of the sublime. The artist thus abandons the idea of a direct formulation of a traditional color composition ad hoc, that is, on the painting’s surface, and focuses on the possibilities offered by the edges, sides, or even back parts of the work. In doing so, he re-structures the visual image, thereby successfully avoiding the narrative form, and gradually achieving the activation of those parts of the painting, which transfer the content from the frontal plane onto the borders and hidden parts of the image.
Through this kind of painterly expression, Rimele has extended the scope of new expressive possibilities. Wooden constructions accentuate the design of the border parts of the painting’s material carrier and even allow its back side to be painted as well. Such works, therefore, are more than just carriers of color substance, they also enable a transition to a nonmaterial rendering of color radiation. The viewer no longer observes the painted color matter directly; what he observes is a dynamic process, the reflection of light and with it the generation of color reflections.
Rimele steps even further, utilizing the medium of video in a setting with artificial lighting to re-create some of that natural dynamics, which is often lacking in gallery spaces with static light sources. In addition, he often plays with various forms, which nonetheless always make up a coherent whole. The creation of these organic forms, as well as the activation of empty spaces are marked by anomalies, which are caused by an intentional emptying out of the center, adding increased significance to the borders: the more the center of the painting is emptied out, the more visible the accentuation of its edges and an enhanced sense of depth. The result is a multitude of optical arrangements, which reflect light and color effects through a combination of the space either with a foursquare shape, an angular position, a floor “anomaly”, or with a multiplication of different panels, which either make up a rectangular determinant or are connected to form a circle.
The paintings’ titles, too, such as IL for illuminations, or IL-RE, only serve as metaphors to Oto Rimele: RE is an upgrade of the function of an artwork’s backside; with it the “rear side” is no longer just insipidly functional, but retreats from the walls in a revolutionary manner, its tension released, enabling the backside to establish a new creative image in the form of a projection canvas. All these ambient installations, which actually allow for a fresh (unique) vision each time they appear in a new gallery space, point to our initial idea, namely, that Oto Rimele provides the visitor with a one-of-a-kind experience, even if they visit the exhibition on more than one occasion. If the first time is always the best, as we say, and if with Rimele each time is a first time, then we could say that the artist has found an observational perpetuum mobile, a way of breathing in a new, innovative dimension to the gallery space.
The ultimate purpose behind this kind of artistic freedom could be – like in every other style or time period in the arts – to achieve uniqueness and authenticity of what he wishes to convey as an artist. To arrive to the truth, which is able, within universality, to transmit the existential and spiritual essence of modern man. Demarcation and integrity have always been characteristic of works of art from all historical periods and art styles – regardless of whether they were created in antiquity, during the Renaissance, or more recently, inside some New York studio belonging to one of the great masters of modernism.
Rimele is an artist of the post-modern era, his typical eclecticism offers the freedom of connecting the incompatible, which results in the emergence of hybrid processes. We may refer to them as anomalies (or irregularities, something that cannot be explained by existing rules or theories), because they are ambiguous in principle. An anomaly is a deviation, a departure from the common rule in a certain phenomenon or object. An anomaly is not an error, but rather a random imperfection, defined each time by the context in which it appears.
Social anomalies, as a rule, are deviations in a negative sense (although not necessarily so), but they definitely follow the principle of “renouncing conventional perfection”. They are an everyday occurrence in our contemporary society, which has, however, long since hit a dead end in this respect: it no longer distinguishes between anomaly and error, between irregularity and excess, between ethics and the moral of values, between spiritual potential and material pleasure.
Nina Jeza, Artists&Poor’s