Bernd Koberling

© Foto: Inge Zimmermann 2015

… I became a painter in order to be able to express myself with painting, and not just to celebrate painting ...

My Überspannungen came about starting in September 1965. They were the answer to the questions arising that spring. They came about by chance. Coincidences only enter into awareness when an intention finds its correspondence. [...] At the time, alla prima painting did not offer me any means to achieve my goal, so I could not escape the effect of this phenomenon. It was very difficult to make glazes with the self-mixed paint. […] What I projected onto the painting surface from back to front was closer to my landscape-related observations and sensations than all of my painting from recent years. […] The paintings Horizont and Baumstumpf were the first of the works I called Überspannungen, the results of which began to correspond with my ideas. […] I learned to recognise nuances that had previously not seemed worth noting to that degree.In contrast to colour painting, I had always rejected tonal painting for myself. The indefinable and differentiated colours enriched my colour perception. I was forced to realise that the “glazing” I did was unusual. It would never have occurred to me to apply such flat glazes I would also have lacked the necessary skills for that. Is style nothing more than the combination of intention and inability? The explanations of how something comes about are often very simple. Using a technique of Überspannen, or “overstretching”, I achieved the synthesis of atmosphere and spatial illusion without having to paint in an illusionistic manner, thus preserving the surface-like character of the picture. 

Bernd Koberling in: Bernd Koberling. Malerei 1962–1977 (exh ca. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin and Städtisches Museum Leverkusen, Schloß Morsbroich), Berlin, 1978, pp. 19–23.


In the exhibition:

Bernd Koberling
Kaitum-Kalix Water, 1969
Synthetic resin on double stretched nettle under satined glass
170 x 130 cm
Galerie Friese, Berlin


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