Regine Schumann, Jonny Niesche »Transition«



Transition presents two international contemporary positions, Regine Schumann and Jonny Niesche, whose work is moving between dramatic radiance and minimalist purity. The show explores the artists’ interest in transitionary movement, the change of state from one to another and the associated atmospheric transformation through color, light and space. It is the first time the two artists are showing together.

Regine Schumann (*1961 in Goslar, Germany) focuses on light effects caused by fluorescent materials. Her materials include colored UV-light reactive Plastilight-chords and different colored acrylic panels, which she composes into complex color spaces in accordance to Goethe's theory of colors. Her works change their glow depending on the daylight situation. But it is really when illuminated in UV light that her light-boxes undergo a drastic transformation of color and spatiality, moving into a totally different color palette. Despite the intense and radiant character of her works, Schumann does not go for the spectacular. Moreover, she is concerned with the positive and meditative effect that art can have on people.

The works of Jonny Niesche (*1972, Australia) pursue similar themes. Like Schumann's light sculptures, Niesches paintings, sculptures, and installations wrestle with the perceptions of color, surface, and spatiality and, in doing so, they excert an equally meditative effect. What all his works have in common is that they seek to createdeep spatial experiences for the mind to become free and quiet to just “be”, a personal moment of “performative contemplation” as Niesche calls it.

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Schumann and Niesche are dealing with an airiness that is denying or actually leaving behind the actual weight of the materials used. They are reliant on light, the atmospheric and environmental conditions that affect their works and how they are interpreted.

Schumann seeks to extend of the architecture in which her works exist by a dimension of vibration and, as she calls it, by a configuration of a room temperature that is creating a spatially experiential plasticity. Similarly, Niesche is interested in mood and temper and the exploration of the atmosphere in a space as an “aesthetic category of its own” (Swiss architect Peter Zumthor).

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In the practice of both Schumann and Niesche the clarity of form gives enormous space to color, and vice-versa. Clearly both artists hold an appreciation for the great pioneers of light art such as Dan Flavin, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Keith Sonnier or James Turrell. Unlike some of the aforementioned artists, whose work may appear rather static and monumental, the works by Schumann and Niesche however seem to be relying rather on dynamic experience as they are subject to constant change.

Viewing Schumann’s light-boxes from different angles, different layers of luminous plates meet in different ways, developing a spectacular dramaturgy of space, light and color each time anew. Niesche’s work deals with light in a more metaphoric way. His color gradients evoke the feeling of watching the sunset at the ocean, possibly at the East coast of his home country Australia, or observing the color spectrum on the horizon over the clouds from the window of a plane. But like in Schumann’s practice, Niesche’s works are changing with the light conditions in the space or with new viewing angles, playing with the contrasts of object and illusion, employing effects of opaqueness, transparency, reflection and geometric patterns caused by moiré effects.

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Besides borrowed larger-scale works, the exhibition features two new smaller-scale series of unique works from 2020 by Regine Schumann and Jonny Nieschewhich have been exclusively created by the artists for Collectors Agenda.

Curated by: Florian Langhammer
Text: Florian Langhammer
Photos: Christoph Liebentritt

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