For his second solo exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels, Berlin based artist Daniel Lergon (born in 1978) presents his latest series of paintings using a technique which investigates the chemical reaction of water strokes placed on metal-coated canvases. The use of acidified water on metal, induces oxidisation, and creates colour. The metals used range from iron to copper and tin.
Lergon’s work is not foreign to the investigation of the support medium. While light sensitive materials such as fluorescent or retro-reflective fabric played a major role in past series, this time the focus is placed on chemically charged metal surfaces. In both cases, a great importance is placed on the inherent potential of the surface used, whereby colours occur during the painting process.
When entering the first of the two exhibition spaces the viewer will discover five of these oxidised paintings, all interacting and corresponding with each other.
Dark red copper surfaces display their brown, grey and green oxides, whilst an iron painting exhibits its orange and brownish rust on a dark grey background. All of which are in turn tempered by a plain grey tin painting that has barely been affected by water oxidisation.
This selection of paintings is reminiscent of Lergon’s work with metal powder, although differently used, in his 2010 Elements exhibition. This former exhibition consisted of four wall paintings in which iron, copper and tin powder (mixed with an acrylic binder) were applied directly onto the wall.
When entering the second space, the investigation of the potential of metals, and their correspondence amongst each other, continues on another scale. A large painting (400 x 720 cm) executed with water on iron is presented alongside a serial work of four canvases, hung directly side by side (250 x 800 cm). Whereas the dark iron painting with its glowing yellowish form has a monolithic character to it, the series displays a more vivid and gestural movement. It consists of four canvases: one of iron, one of tin and two copper coatings which demonstrate how the same acidified water affects each metal differently. Each produces colour and presents different pictorial results for the artist to react to. This sequence represents one of the many 'metallic correspondences' in the show. Two big square paintings (300 x 300 cm), – one of copper, one of iron – hang opposite to each other, further pursue this correspondence.
This exhibition continues Lergon's research in 'active' surface materials and their potentials brought to life.
Daniel LERGON is born in 1978 in Boon (Germany). He lives and works in Berlin. His work has been the subject of several exhibitions, notably at the Esbjerg Kunstmuseum (Denmark, 2006), AEREA (Sweden, 2008), Von-der-Heydt-Museum (Germany, 2009), Daimler Contemporary (Germany, 2011) and at the Signum Foundation (Venice, 2013).