malerei im stromzeitalter


Fabian Fobbe


In the work of Fabian Fobbe (Hannover, 1978) a dimensionless, instable world is outlined. The playful juxtaposition of planes of bright colour, which have partially been applied in soft gradients, with forms and figures that appear to reference advertising, games and comics, results in works that are seductive in their elegant insouciance. 

The work in this show represents something of a break with Fobbe’s previous work. Where earlier an interplay of figurative and abstract elements sprinkled evenly across the picture plane was central, the figurative has now receded into the background and abstraction has become more dominant. The “cell-structures and and other personnel from microbiology […], and above all from the cartoon-universe”[1] are no longer recognisable as such, but echoes remain. The ‘figures’ in Fobbe’s paintings still seem clunky and a little ‘cheap’. They are flawed figures, their smoothly abstract surfaces are undercut by drips, impastoed surfaces and lines of paint pressed directly out of the tube onto the canvas and their apparent cheerfulness has slightly hysterical overtones. But they are also still charming and oddly close to home, which adds to their uncanniness.

The colour scheme has changed from a reduced black, grey and white to one that is sprightly and colourful. The brightness and contrast are brought to such an extreme, however, that it is sharp and somewhat painful to look at. It suggests the paranoia, thinly veiled by the day-glo colours, of a broken world.

[1] Zoe Miller, Shades of Grey, original in German: “Zellstrukturen und anderes Personal der Mikrobiologie, […]  und vor allem des Zeichentrickuniversums.”