Jackson Hole News and Guide
Written By Tibby Plasse
UDO NOGER, There is Day and Night 2
A native of Westphalia, Germany, Udo Nöger has been pioneering the boundaries of a luminescent canvas for decades. In his latest works, Nöger advances his ongoing exploration of light and form in his new show at Diehl Gallery, “There Is Day and Night.” Instead of paint, light becomes his medium, according to Isabel McDowall, Diehl Gallery’s operations director.
“There are no shortcuts to achieve the desired effect, but rather clever artistic expression,” she said. “Eventually growing tired of working on the surface of paintings, Nöger instead creates forms within and layers of his canvas so compositions emerge via negative space and translucency.”
Nöger formed his technique in the early 1990s. By superimposing scrim-like layers of tautly stretched canvas (dipped in mineral oils to heighten translucency), Nöger embeds an array of gestures and cut-out forms within the picture plane. This invites light to penetrate and travel through the artwork. His new show features 10 paintings, all new works by the German artist.
Partaking in the Arte Povera movement of the 1960s and 70s, Nöger reimagines what a painting’s potential is with immaculate whites and shimmering grayscale tones. His pieces are contemplative, austere, and yet wholly radical in their manifestation.
“I had this idea to open up the canvas,” Nöger shared with the gallery in an artist statement. “For me it’s very necessary that I’m not sitting in front of a canvas, filling it up with forms; I’m more interested in the endless possibilities of what’s underneath the canvas.”
McDowall says the artist’s work has evolved over time, “congruent with his travels and life experiences.”
“He attaches meaning to the abstract symbols, but through their commonality, any viewer can relate,” she said. “The atmospheric works have a calming presence and can even interact with the surrounding environment, lending a meditative quality.”
The gallery began representing Nöger in 2018.
Shows at Diehl Gallery always share their proceeds with local community nonprofit organizations and for the Nöger show, “There Is Day and Night,” funds will be donated to Teton County Search and Rescue. The Thursday reception will offer light appetizers and cocktails. The artist is unable to attend.