This pastel from 2016 is dominated by a luminous orange rectangle at its heart. Yet rather than serving as a mere centralised monochrome element, it is itself structured into vertical shimmering stripes, which impart rhythm into the image and "render the light visible".
Many natural processes are rhythmic. The Earth revolves around its axis every 24 hours and every 365 days around the Sun - to which we owe our day and night, summer and winter. The moon, in turn, revolves around the Earth, which causes the ocean tides and the periodically recurring ebb and flow of the tides, and, which, in interaction with the sun, is responsible for the monthly cycle. The human body, controlled by the brain, is also subject to same circadian rhythms. Our inner clock determines not only our sleeping and waking phases, but also heart frequency, blood pressure and state of mind. Each cell and each organ is possessed of its own rhythm which regularly has to to be synchronised with the exterior world. Human beings are orientated towards the brightness of the day and the darkness of night. Consequently, our life progresses within a rhythmic cycle, which is primarily dependent upon light.
Rhythm is, therefore, a fundamental factor across various realms of our living world. The theme of rhythmisation is also among the salient aspects within the art of Heinz Mack. The structure of his works is profoundly shaped by regular rhythm and a clearly structured pictorial composition.
In this work from 2016, the central rectangle is framed by the various coloured bands. A further key element is represented by the two horizontal stripes in the upper and lower edges of the paper. Revealing itself only upon closer scrutiny, the interior structure itself generates a granular rhythmisation of the work - a characteristic feature of Mack's pastels. This is no monochrome colour-field, but a coloured object floating above the pictorial ground, itself comprised of highly structured handmade paper.
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