Corpse – Variant Paintants, 2010

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Galerie Schmidt Maczollek, Cologne, Germany
September 9 – November 6, 2011

“Some painters continue to think intently about the history and meaning of painting within its traditional limits. Others leave painting to work in other media. Marcaccio does both.“ Katy Siegel is not alone in her observation of the artist. The day after our opening, Fabian Marcaccio will be given the Bernhard-Heiliger-Award for Sculpture in Berlin and, parallel to our exhibit, the Georg-Kolbe-Museum has organized a solo exhibit to honor this achievement.

We are very excited about Marcaccio’s (*1963, in Rosario de Sante Fe, Argentina; has been residing in New York for the past 20 years) Corpse – Variant Paintants an exhibit that was conceived exclusively for our gallery space. The neologism “Paintant,” coined by Marcaccio in the 1990s, is a fusion of the words “painting” and “mutant,” the latter of which is taken from the science fiction genre and means genetically modified life. Marcaccio calls his newest artistic work Variant Paintants because he materializes his pictorial practices into various techniques and places them in the space as “Variants”.


Since the beginning of his artistic career, Marcaccio has put new methods to the test, trying to free the individual components of a piece from their traditional roles: the strokes of the paintbrush on the canvas interact with the frame; the frame warps inward or outward, the subject of the painting and the medium merge and mesh alternately with each other “until it all erupts into a violent conflict.” Martin Hentschel was spot on in 2001 when he wrote that Marcaccios work invariably tells “of his own Deconstruction.” The artist worked with computer generated graphic material as early as the mid 90s. He created novel, abstract paintings from the world of pixels and presented them in the form of intricate collages. Marcaccio calls this process “Healed Collage”. In a Healed Collage, Marcaccio takes pictures or searches for diverse images, cuts them out, edits them on the computer, layers them within each other, overlapping, prints the finished product onto a primed canvas and then covers it with silicone, acrylic or oil paint.


Marcaccio’s composition in our exhibition Corpse – Variant Paintants is also derived from Abstract Painting. The subject matter centers around one main theme, namely the “Corpse”. Marcaccio produces multiple variants of this theme using his own imaging techniques – each technique taking the media to its absolute outer limits. We experience it as a room-size installation and, simultaneously, as a kind of competition between drawing, painting, animation and sculpture. An example being: a Draftant competing against a moving projection. The virtual and permanent movement of the projection seems to, literally and physically, overshadow the objective and Structural Canvas Paintant. On the other hand, the Paintant, with its digitally generated surface, maintains a plastic depth, because of its wire netting, and transforms the virtual back into the physical. And Marcaccio’s Rope Paintants, shown here for the first time, take it all to the next level: a loose, rope netting allows us to view the frame and the wall behind it. Added to this base are thickly applied layers of multi-colored silicone, almost Baroque-like fragments of digital imagery. You can simultaneously see the Rope Paintant and see through it. It is both surface and illusion, space and material at the same time. As Marcaccio himself describes his work, it is in the “undead” state of a zombie, neither living nor dead, in a transitory state.