alliance française, bangalore, india (novembre 2002)
spaces of absences, species of presences : fragments, deserts, traces
Marta Jakimowicz-Karle, "Elusive trails", Deccan Herald, October 28, 2002, Bangalore, India
The elusiveness of nature and state of everthing perceived turns for Roland Schär into the subject-matter itself. The exhibition's titleh conveys that as "Spaces of Absences, Species of Presences3. Although seemingly defined, this intangible aim belongs to almost all art - to capture the essence of relationships, of auras emanated by people, objects and environnements, by processes and their reflection in everything else including the artist's feeling mind. Schär stays with the most general and the most abstract. His idiom understandably then, comes from the Minimalist stock. We have here as though an impersonal, cool material of smooth plexiglass used in series of multiplied rectangular formats. On it, or rather in it, he paints his ephemeral images, in fact, merely their traces. His Minimalism, however, departs from the canonic. The translucence of the works which are mainly as small as postcards, can be associated with the indifference of photography, even the digital media. On the other hand yet, it allows a fineness of execution, where the luminous depth of the background and the substance can further emphasise the soft nuances over hardly suggested forms, till those gain a sense of imperceptible changing and continuous vacillation. As a result, the paintings in a manner acquire a touch of the intimate. The semi-transparent matter interacts towards a mutual enhancement with the faint, milky grayish blue tones of the works. It does so with ther pervasive, though muted, light. The images in one cycle hint at human figures in motion. Largely abstract, they only allude to the body by a fragmentary curve, a bend or a movement familiar from how people look and behave. In other cycles the artist deals with domestic interiors, spaces amid walls and open atmosphere, with landscapes, also with less recognisable shapes which appear to sometimes verge on the organic, the marine, the plasmatic and the atmospheric, even cosmic. If one has named references of these apparitions, it hardly means their apparitions, it hardly means their specificity here. To the contrary, in most instances Schär restricts himself to utter traces of phenomena more than things. Schär succeeds best when he balances gentle indications of a type identity with elusiveness expressed in abstract terms, like the image of a bedroom.