This artwork traded representational subject matter (hotel stationery used by The Langham, London) for an exploration of the medium of painting itself. It is built up with cascades of fractured shapes of pure color that makes the painting feel subjective and spontaneous. Mixing powdered pigments like gold or copper with oil paint and different varnishes, pigment prints and fabrics, Peter Vahlefeld relinquished his controlled approach to painting, allowing the final result to be guided by the behavior of the given material. Layers of media are applied and scraped off again. Binders oxidize the metallic pigments, resulting in a deep chrome effect of different shades of green. Information is added, deleted or overpainted. Acts of defacement, like urban demarcation and graffiti revealing flaws and cracks on the pictorial surface. Peter Vahlefeld takes obvious pleasure in fucking up the surface of his paintings, breaking the image as much as making it. Grids organize space: on an empty expanse they delimitate zones, impose a structure. Boundaries are traced and disrupted by other frontiers. Thresholds are malleable. The oscillation between creation and destruction convey an almost visible transience of time and transform the canvas into an immersive pictorial event.
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