Torben Giehler


Painter said...

Torben Giehler
Leo Koenig Inc.
545 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

Thousand Points of Light said...

In the more recent paintings he's been able to get a sense of vertigo and perspective that one would not necessarily expect from the working format- which is decently nice.

Generally a bit pat at this point.

They are getting dirtier, which is better.

There's even some triangles in there- image that.

I'll take Koening's Frank Nitsche over these any day.

pat said...

" a bit pat?"
are you referring to me?

Thousand Points of Light said...

adj 1: having only superficial plausibility; "glib promises"; "a
slick commercial" [syn: glib, slick]

But i do think getting vectors into your work would be a good kick in the pants. btw, I do like some of your stripe paintings. keep those going.

Annie said...

Its like J. Greenbaum and J. Mehretu making semi secret paintings together under a male nome de plume, plus a little bit Grotjan

It doesn't do it for me. I see this and I want to see a Greenbaum.

All those twists and turns and I still don't get anywhere or arrive at anything, wah wah waaaaaa

zipthwung said...

Reminds me of those corporate CEO trophy homes with the conceptually roped off living room and white railings - you know sort of like the MOMA dream house on 53rd street.

I had some real estate agent show me PS1 before they took me to the MOMA garden - oldest rick in the book - show em the overpriced slum then hit em with something slightly above their price point but totally ideal.

I need a place to showcase my collection of Nipponware and assorted tchotchkies.

My custom Hughes Apache helicopter is going on the top floor - it has the Lord of the Rings airbrushed on the sides and elvish lettering on the rotors - I bring the guests up after dinner. Really gets em in a deal making mood to smoke stogies behind the Vulcan chain gun controlls.

Brief history of my time, gyre and gimble - you know how those momraths get.

webthing said...

polygosh! i'm surprised he isnt off at the tour de france. he keeps pushing his work in more fractured directions, but not too far. maybe not as far as the other 'post-digitalists'
Scott Anderson
Phllip Argent
Alex Brown
Benjamin Edwards
Chris Finley
Beverly Fishman
Carl Fudge
Dan Hays
Yeardley Leonard
Randy Wray
Amy Yoes
Peter Zimmermann

zipthwung said...

Don't forget stewart Davis

enaclite said...

.....I bet he's got a good seletion of masking tape

Nick said...

It's funny that you mention the masking tape. I was just on his site and noticed he had a painting propped up on two 3M boxes and I thought the same thing.

Martin said...

yes, i saw his most recent show at leo koenig.. some of them were very big... my impression was that they all looked better from farther away, and that the best ones were the smaller ones.

they generally seemed pretty tired.

enaclite said...

..the masking tape /edge debate is a sticky wicket

arebours said...

maybe less would be more-am just getting visual disturbance

zipthwung said...

Blacks can be warm or cool

I dunno, Im more into the depth cues than the conceptual in genral
Vertiginous scale could be pushed shamelessly - why be puritanical about it? Live a little.

No Rush said...

What does the depth mean? Same old outerspace thing? It's nice when painters give you a way out--sporting--hopeful even.

I'm more into the No Way Out Choking In Your Face kind of space. But that's where I find myself. Youll be there soon enuf.

Sharon said...

Minimal Frank Stella meets Moby/architectural Frank Stella...?

miss12 said...

i liked this new work. it was a new space for him.. visually complex. never resting. like all of us, he has his interest- and within the context of that, i thought these paintings looked pretty good. sure they are about design, but what abstraction isn't? for that matter, what painting isn't? like all of the 'expressive' painting and goofy, stylized 'feuer figuration' isn't carefully designed. atleast this work doesn't promise more than it actually offers. its a virtual space. and i liked going there for a few minutes.

Martin said...

jeez, could you sound any more apologetic? with friends like that, who needs enemies...

zipthwung said...

Im inot fabulism. You know, been living the same lie so long its now filled the house and threatens to block access to the beer cooler. Bare feet on broken glass bloody footprint trail between mastery of a skillset and 52 pickup. Darkness is a relief - it hides the puke.

Old Guy said...

I wonder what program(s) he uses?
No curves in our haus or Bauhaus?
How small and many can the angles get?
Line – plane – tone – depth (but what determines color?)

Day 4 of The Tour and Torb will be pulling on the TeamMobile colors.
Julian Pozzi get in here.

Hans said...

I could stand one of his works much better in my apartment than a Rauch for sure.

enaclite said...

....i'll take a Rauch, then a Nitsche and then this chap

zipthwung said...

id take one of these and an understated rothko with some matching Balkenolesque local artist chainsaw type caryatids. The house would be Northern Cal all natural woods - cedar, tique mahogany cherry, and dark granite, slate and obsidian.

Lots of plants and some kind of sheep dog.

Lets go kayaking.

zipthwung said...

oh yeah, skylights, lots of skylights.

Concrete Phone said...

Zip I can see the skylight thing.

I remember seeing on his site a late Mondrian, Broadway Boogie? I think, tilting out running like a highway, or runway. And I thought that painting was going to haunt Geilher, laying down the space master so it read like a Mario Nintendo Plane. Other later work takes off, crashes, and takes off.
It's good to see painters still trying to work these things out.
The spaces and abundance of lines are very clever/intriguing, and painstakingly put together. There is not a busload of triangles. Escher is there, waterfall, and a parade of thin-wheeled bicycles, speeds and acrobat unicycles. Mondrian would be dancing fox-trot turning in his grave. Geilher would be in the box digging for the tape.

Definitely painter is on a space thing at the moment, and fun to see how many ways it comes up.

What does it all mean?
Perhaps it's about a world we see through the emotional sense, which a painter translates to make pictorial sense, space and a place on the canvas. Tall orders, not always on the right side of fashion, traveling hurdy-gurdy every which way through the ages, at varous times and stages of invention, ripe for takeoff.

Old Guy said...

It’s funny, on the Berran post I was thinking about Nitsche and Scheibitz and how many try angles I could find besides Morris – who Webthing doesn’t even rank as Post-Digi – maybe because the computational side to origami just got way too analog.
But then again the lure of the volume, the siren call of solid geo is never silent or resisted for long, and I wondered how anyone would even focus on triangles amid the modeling and the depth and all the tools of the paint-hearted.
The ghost of Al Held haunts another generation.
Hans’ apartment is obviously a handsome size, to even contemplate Giehler or Rauch.
My advice – wait for the collaborative piece: The Ossie Posse Makeover
Zip’s dream homes will need more kinderzimmers and playstations to hide the heartache, way up there on Commune Valhalla.

Old Guy said...

Oh and before anyone else tells me - Yes Giehler's not Saxon and it is Day (Stage) 5.

Gotta stop falling asleep!

Robert said...

al held, but less so.

Ryan said...

Read recently about video games being part of man's post-eden drive to create a new world in which there is no sin or death.. related to the founding of monastic orders and cloisters and such.

I liked the messier ones on his website a good bit.. I think they are smaller, and less resolved, which allows you in more.. Like Pat's little gate at the bottom of his painting. I think these stand alone over time longer than Saville's, due to their self possession.. They aren't reliant on knowledge of virtual or video reality to understand the concept of purified and theoretical space.

Concrete Phone said...

About the spell with the 'l' thing, next time I'll stick it were it's meant to go... sorry 'bout that.
Ryan, Phone in about the concept of purified and theoretic space. I've got plenty of space left for a listen. But keep it simple.

Giehler, got the order.

pat said...

hey martin---what were the surfaces like? matte glossy, slick, rough, stains...?
its strange how the space alludes to something other in the distance, but it just stops---and the frontal area just sits there too-

Martin said...

pat - it was back in early april, at a show i wasn't very excited by... i can't remember enough to speak about the surfaces.

Concrete Phone said...

The space comes up pretty clued to the rectangle. Things don't just stop < the way I see them [the structure element stops], though by association feeds back. The space and structure is bending but there is this relative equal space that gets worked out, in the end. The painting I mentioned earlier ran everything flat as a flat plane that was shifted on an axis. Later works bring the painting back to the rectangle and deal with the fascination of that diagonal and it's inherent illusion while going against it. It's just another way, on the way.
Even a flat surface holds a lifetime of illusion to get over, or to come to terms with.

When you come up with a totally new way shout it out. In the interim, there is plenty of benefit just figuring what someone else has done.

surfkook said...

As I recall, some where glossy, some alittle more matte. Some of the darks are actually semi-transparent metallic colors over others. In general I think his process is too easy. Just call in some assistant tapers, like Brian Alfred. I don't believe people think this is what art is! You can't get more conservative.

Frank Nitsche is better, his first Koenig show on Center St. was great. Lately, a little flat and formulaic

Concrete Phone said...

Nitsche actually works a flatter traditional plane with an illusionist structure kind of embedded in there. Giehler wants the whole thing moving, and while he uses rendition, typical to the perspectival, or the axonometric at different rotations, it's more successful because, well, there is some palpitation, and mixup.
There is more trouble under the sun, than under the umbrella.
Or the other way? I forget... never get those phrases right!

Thanks surfkook I could see those glazes, metallic I didn't know. I suggest some powder paint like they use on those slim bikes. Love that stuff. The edge is really clean.

loose shoes said...

I wonder if Jenny Saville listens to either Mudvayne or Neil Young when she paints, or Nickelback. This one is more like Bang On A Can conducted by Mark Mothersbaugh. I think I still prefer hipster dance music to either.

This reminds me of Doig's concrete Mondrian houses, but less good.

Maybe it needs to be less zany. More Stuart Davis, less Reboot.

SisterBee said...

Sometimes I have this wonderful dream where I'm discovering new rooms in my house that I didn't know existed. It's always an exuberant, expansive dream. This painting reminds me of that.

artgirl said...


artgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

CP: By "purified and theoretical space", I was thinking how constructivists thought of themselves as painting more of reality than realists, because they painted the pure reality of geometry and math; things not reliant on senses but presensual reality.. I was thinking though that this guy and others listed above differ in that they seem (to me) to be using some "pure" elements (not sensual color, but intellectual color, not hand made lines and curves but geometric lines and curves) ut not to show ultimate reality, but some other, maybe digital, reality. The space is not like our space in which finite things stand in contrast to infinite horizon, but it's all already in the infinite space of numbers.. there is no time between near and far, only numbers, and instant travel. So space means something other than distance. Still, there is a tension between the strangeness of all that paint and tape and brushing and real life, and this finished image of a world in which those things are all represented by numbers and coordinates.. maybe that's what people who like them see in them. Or maybe they just go with the rug.

zipthwung said...

think fast!

The Final Frontier.
Is the place.
No one can hear you scream.

Ryan said...

This painting is ehh alright, but
is the real deal.

loose shoes said...

Making work that looks like rough Maya renderings makes the space a little too obvious. This is slightly more complex, but not much more. Why does everything seem steeped in cultural nostalgia these days?

I think Nitsche might be the successor to Diebenkorn - this guy on the other hand is I think trying to be successor to a dead end (at least the digital part).

zipthwung said...

render desu!

artgirl said...

barbed wire always feels better on a clear day.

No Rush said...

I like this a whole lot better. More MyKindaSpace.

Joseph said...

Why not go digital; Straighter lines, cleaner crisper edges, no tape, flatter color, less cancer.

Concrete Phone said...

thanks Ryan for that, the interesting thing is that there are so many ideas on what is going on, structure as model, space as something activated by a model, the model as a representation, so right there were those who figured they were the representational artists. And then there were the underlying fabric dudes, along with the dangling article 'unified theory' was where it's at... fascinating stuff.
I figure the illusive, the interesting space, that you can get with painting is so diverse, full of such possibility, because there is literally no space, what we do is construct it, articulate it, or bring a particular sense of a thing, a space and it's coordinates, its read, to our attention.
Myspace yourspace, unified space, another crack, who knows?

Old Guy said...

2 points occur to me in following the above commentaries:
Some people think painting owes too much to software here, and that software is a bleak source.
That painting is starved of other options in taking up software issues.
And things are not helped in this by trying to glean hints from a jpeg. What other qualities Giehler brings to the picture (scale, finish, color nuance/transparency) are unavailable online.
But in as much as software is such a big factor these days, it seems only appropriate it should figure as a subject, and where better to observe it than in the least mechanical of pictures – painting?
What Giehler says about it strikes some as less than a screensaver, others as verging on a symphony, but I don’t think we can pretend software started abstraction, or that painting is any less so for resorting to masking tape.
He can’t say everything about Maya etc and maybe not even much, and he can’t use every kind of brushstroke or color and maybe not even many, but he does at least show that Maya has earned its painters, and vice versa.

italo said...


JpegCritic said...

Well put Old Guy.

zipthwung said...

i feel activated.

zipthwung said...

speaking of 3d space - im playing with google's Sketchup program - it works with google earth (which is really fun)and has a free version that seems pretty intuitive.

Its akin to Poser - another 3d program - in that they both have a library of allready built 3d objects.

In 3d modeling you have hard edged geometric models - buildings, vehicles, platonic solids - and you have organic or soft models - people, germs, tumors, proteins, DNA chains and tapeworms, for example.

In between that you have Frank Ghery.

One thing about working on the computer is that your drawing skills atrophy or remain undeveloped - use it or lose it like riding a bike but not in the top 10%.

As a product of the "deskilled" art school environment I regret my lack of facility with figure drawing - software is no substitute. I'm an ok cartoonist, and I can draw anything from a photograph, but thats not as cool as being able to draw nudie pictures of starlets for your jailmates.

I'm not one of those realist kooks - in fact I find the adherence to one school or philosophy more of an exercise in territoriality, like calling a twenty block area a "neighborhood" despite any real character other than rentable property.

So when I see work like this I wonder, wouldn't the artist be helped by more good old boring figure drawing?

Wouldn't everyone?

But psychologicly I can identify with this kind of work, this kind of doodling - and in a sense it is freedom, though a tyranical one.

Old Guy said...

Ask Frank Stella

zipthwung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zipthwung said...

stella 1976

Don't fight the grid it will only make it stronger.

zipthwung said...

and stronger

loose shoes said...

It's less an issue of observation than it is of subservience. The good things about this painting have to do with mid-century abstraction, some kind of extension from that, or its particular physical characteristics, not by supposedly being "relevant" by resembling 3D graphics. It's weakness is that it doesn't have enough courage to be itself without being poignant, although it only does that of necessity.

It may be worthwhile to investigate 3D graphics through painting, and it may even be the most sensible or interesting, but posing is not the same thing as investigating.

This work doesn't look like it wants to have anything to do with software, it looks like someone thought it had to.

I also am not particularly invigorated by the phantom irony of "abstraction with a twist."

Anyway, I think this painting is all right.

Old Guy said...

Get thee to a life class (even an evening class) if it’s the figure on more traditional terms you need.
Hopefully once you have it, you will then need it more than once a year.
The thing about starting from just pencil on paper is that all the other basics are right there as well, but hopefully (and traditionally) you find your own shortcuts to the ‘right’ line for tone, volume, color etc. You make a hand.
Saville is in part making a play of proceeding like a How-To book with ‘sketchy’ line and tonalities (How To Paint Meat) – Uglow is a wayward comparison actually. But she’s stymied by photography as well – and her, shall we say, slender interests.
I can’t see her getting as reckless or inventive with tradition as Bacon – at the moment her thing seems to be conspicuous consumption.
But there’s endless axioms and adages about this problem – whether we start from Art to rediscover Life or vice versa – learn from experience or learn to experience, but software or hardware, you’ve got to be actually using it a lot to find out much about what it’s capable of.
That goes for Giehler too.

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