Michael Krebber has a conceptual approach to painting that questions the fundamental roots of the medium. Using the briefest of gestures and brushstrokes, Krebber often declares a work complete at the first available opportunity. Believing that there is now little new that can be done with painting, Krebber is engaged in the medium’s endgame, playing the final moves again and again without ever reaching its conclusion: ‘I do not believe I can invent something new in art or painting because whatever I would want to invent already exists.’ Rather than invent something new, Krebber’s restrained brushstrokes leave a canvas open and full of possibilities. Like an unfinished sentence, his works leave the viewer guessing what might happen next.
Among his most recent work is a series of fourteen canvases, all of about equal size. The paintings, which are not paintings in any traditional sense of the word, take as their support a stretch of pre-printed, shop-bought fabric. Over the readymade printed motif, Krebber has painted the simple geometric shape of a diamond. Completed in various shades of off-white, the positioning of the shape is sometimes symmetrical, sometimes not. The use of fabric is an interesting addition to the artist’s work and one that makes reference to influential German artists such as Sigmar Polke and Rosemarie Trockel, who have similarly employed found and manufactured textiles. Krebber’s use of a pre-printed fabric rather than a blank canvas allows a freedom to explore painting itself without being dominated by the iconic status of the subject depicted. The works not only question the definition of painting but retrace and reassess its history throughout post-war German art.
Born in 1954, Michael Krebber has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States. Recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin (2003) Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2003) and Maureen Paley/Interim, London, 1999. His work has recently been included in Outlook, Athens (2003).