ARTISTS / Contemporary art
Camill Leberer

Shadows of the five continents
© Camill Leberer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Camill Leberer

Schatten der fünf Kontinente / Shadows of the five continents, 2016

Paint, varnish, steel
125 × 125 cm

signed and titled on the reverse

€ 9.000
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With his "Shadows of the Five Continents" from 2016, Camill Leberer has created an exemplary work for his lacquer paintings, which are to be understood as sculptural. With his special, singular technique, Leberer creates a spatiality beyond the perspective space. Through the flexed cut on the metal plate, the alternation of transparent and opaque colors as well as the targeted use of linear means, a seemingly multilayered structure comparable to a hologram is created, which evokes a virtual space. The white surface in the upper center of the work and the line running diagonally downward in the left field of the image are felt to be the uppermost layer. Depending on the color density, the almost square, frequently overlapping quadrangular surfaces step through to the back in terms of effect - blue, green, yellow, orange, violet. The "lowest" layer is the format-filling field primed with clear varnish, below which lies the engraving of the metal. The work becomes lively through the deviations from presumed norms, from hatching contrary to the rules, etc.: At first glance, the work consists of a multitude of squares, whether within other squares, or whether in ensemble. On closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the squares are not formed accurately and that small deviations are intentional. Disparate in layout, Camill Leberer achieves a less mathematical than absolute, spiritual perfection. With the title of the picture, the artist provokes irritation. Where could the shadow be found: representative in the darker shades? Or in the default of the white line, which means the shadow cast as a kind of negative form? The five continents could be read into the superficial square fields as encoded signs. But while Leberer is concerned with the concretization of metaphysical pictorial spaces suggested by poetic titles, he is by no means concerned with motivic representations. Rather, the artist exposes the all-too-fussy fidelity to the image as untruthfulness (depending on geological, historical, or other points of view, there are both more and less than five continents, strictly speaking between seven and two) and elevates the surreal interpretation to the true given: the manifestation of the continents as spiritual space.
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