'Die Erinnerung an abstrakte Bilder, die noch nicht gemalt wurden' ‒ Stefan Sehler-
With its characteristic explosive style, its splashes of colour and sweeping gestures, Sehler’s work skillfully references abstract expressionist strategies and yet opposes them fundamentally with an artistic practice of its own.
Set behind glass, Sehler’s paintings keep the observer at a distance, shift the immediate presence of the painterly stroke to the background, and let the image appear almost like a large-format photograph. The result is an ongoing game of deception between different layers of medial representation, a dialogue between painting as action or conception, between image and reproduction. Sehler relishes this game, much to the viewer’s benefit. He constantly sends them down new paths full of missteps and wrong turns which, as deceptive as they may be, ultimately prove to be insightful for just this reason. Every spontaneous gesture reveals itself as an act of premeditation, each improvisation as an elaborate construction, and even the alleged canvas as a trompe-l’œil.
Stefan Sehler’s paintings are paradoxical constructs, highly complex and – in utmost contradiction to their seemingly haphazard approach – they celebrate the act of seeing and painting in their very mysteriousness.