© Andrea Schurian 2018
Parallel universes of colour and form
Grumbling – conscientious pessimism – is not his cup of tea. Never was, even when he changed between comic and Pierre Corneille styles as a kind of brut painter and received the Salzburg Regional Award for his wild scenes in the early 1990s.
Shortly afterwards, he moved to New York, was inspired by the American abstracts, became embroiled in the city, which he was “unable to process” by painting und therefore photographed instead – fascinated by the art and its scene, the ‘easy living’ in this melting pot that never sleeps. But 9/11 politicised the city – too much for his taste, and he returned to Austria, pursuing his desire to express his view of the world and not its reflection. Light became ever more important in his paintings; he developed his individual vocabulary, debris, wipers, colour bundles, lines blending into planes, knots, space whorls, light, shadows, painted (himself) free from isms and the constraints imposed by the art market. Painting is his world – not the market.
And, for Thomas Nowotny, it seems as if the world is a stage set to be repeatedly painted anew for a play called “Life in several acts” – not the reflection of reality but its interpretation. It is no problem-ridden, sad play, no complaint, but rather one that relates a future, whose past is our present.
© Oskar Friedl 2018
Cosmic explosions – The paintings of Thomas Nowotny
Is it the distant flickering of a light, or is it a gigantic explosion in super-super slow-motion?
Is it a unique event or does it happen all the time?
Is it the memory of the first billionth second following the creation of the universe, or just a tiny part of what we see today – gas and dust clouds – primeval matter?
Thomas Nowotny’s paintings invite us to a journey through time – to a voyage into infinity. The colours engulf us into a realm of light and primordial dust, from which everything is created and into which everything will return.