press release

Christopher Grimes Gallery presents a show of new work by German artist, Herbert Hamak from November 29 to January 10, 2004. An opening reception for the artist will be held Saturday, November 29 from 6 – 8 p.m. The gallery is located at 916 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.

Herbert Hamak will exhibit a full-scale Wet Column as the centerpiece. This eight-foot tower of pigment and binding agents is sheathed in a constant flow of running water. The pillar stands alone free of any architectural liability. Instead it functions as a contemplative element, slightly opaque yet brilliantly luminescent in the glow of its materials.

Also on view will be a recent selection of work in a variety of sizes and colors that are cast on to linen and mounted on the wall. With this meditative and seductive body of work, Hamak negates all representational function and retains the traditional character of painting through the work’s structure and mass of material. He re-vitalizes painting with a unique process and breathes new life into an age-old conversation about color and the nature of experience as the canvas functions solely as support for the color material. "He works with luminous paint which col-lects on the picture surface and turns the picture into a light storage instru-ment," says Martin Hentschel in a 1996 catalogue essay.

The process by which Hamak arrives at these geometric forms is extremely slow and complex. It is the result of a precise fusion of pigments with natural and synthetic resins. Working halfway between artistic and scientific experimentation, his work evokes intense contemplation vis-a-vis light and transparent color.

Herbert Hamak was born in Unterfranken, Germany in 1952 and lives and works in Hammelburg. He has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout Europe and Japan. In a stunning display this summer, Hamak worked on the façade of the Romanesque basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the cathedral of Atri, Italy. By filling each of the myriad square holes of its surface with small blocks of translucent colored resin they became an ornamental motif, giving rhythm and pulsation to the stern façade.

This will be his fourth solo show with the Christopher Grimes Gallery.

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Herbert Hamak