Michael Biber. The Two Dimensions UFO + M4

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  • Saturday, March 2, 2024 - Saturday, April 20, 2024

From the beginning of his artistic path, Michael Biber has drawn on pop art inspirations. In works from the 2000s, he used industrial materials – such as the vinyl sheets used in large-format advertising – and developed extensive series of minimalist, multicolored works, themselves reminiscent of mass-produced objects. As the years passed, he abandoned glossy PCV foil and diversified his visual language, which has come to include a wide array of organic motifs. Neverthelesss, in keeping with the pop art heritage, Biber maintained a serial logic in his practice. His most recent body of work is still easily divided into cycles, which usually originate from studio experiments. While painting in the studio, Bieber constantly develops new visual patterns based on quasi-figurative, plant-like motifs. In turn, he reproduces and processes some of them digitally, at times mixing them with visuals found on the web – photos, data visualizations, advertising, reproductions of other people’s works… In this manner, support is created for further painting experiments. New motifs bud over printed reproductions, in a movement reminiscent of the transformation of organic matter and the growth of plants or fungi. In the most recent endeavors, Biber appears as a “pop-art vitalist”; a romantic with a technophilic, modernist bent.

Sure enough, the history of modernism knows many similar couplings of technological savvy with organic imagination. Suffice it to recall the poetry of Tadeusz Peiper, who described his futuristic poems as “blossoming” – for each “blossomed” from a particular, seemingly random phrase, which the poet repeated in successive verses: verse-fractals, verse-petals. However, interwar modernity, which Peiper praised as a time of “city—mass—machine,” can hardly be compared with today’s digital age. Tellingly, Biber is not so much interested in the Peiperian city as in the forest – but not the literal one; rather, the forest of data, in the profusion of which it is all too easy to get lost (or to lose oneself). More than the mass, he is interested in energy – that which is subject to constant flow and transformation in contemporary social-technological networks. Last but not least – instead of the cumbersome machine, his works feature the algorithm, which provides wanderers in the digital forest with a false sense of direction. Only occasionally can one encounter ominous moments in Biber’s paintings – clearances, tears, or signs of excess – evoking, as it were, an alien, untimely realm. They resemble the light that pierces through the tree branches. (Arkadiusz Półtorak)



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