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Andreas Nottebohm
Modernism, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng

Andreas Nottebohm, “KN-2083,” 2014, oil on aluminum, 48 x 69”

Continuing through February 28, 2015

The swirling linear patterns made by Clement Greenberg’s infamous grinding and polishing of several of David Smith’s stainless-steel sculptures after the artist’s death may have been illegal and unethical, but they were quite beautiful, as are the polished aluminum paintings of Andreas Nottebohm, here a product of the artist’s own hand. Flat panels are mounted to honeycomb aluminum backings that defy painting’s usual limitations of flatness and stillness.

Inspired years ago to experiment with discarded aluminum printing plates from his printing job in Munich, the artist has refined his rotary-sander technique over four decades to create calligraphic works on metal that possess dazzling depth and movement. As you move, so do the curvilinear ripple patterns. Layers of hologram-like depth testify to the artist’s interest in astrophysics and fractals, and make these “windows on the universe” infinitely variable. Accompanying the fifteen untitled (i.e., numbered) recent abstracts, which suggest natural phenomena as well as mystical experience, impressively without being specific, are early virtuosic airbrushed gouache paintings influenced by surrealist painting and the metaphysical aims of early modernist abstraction.


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