American / Dutch, 1974

The work of Berlin-based artist Michael Markwick is usually related to nature, though not always in an explicit way. The energy of nature comes to us in gestural and lyrical abstraction, with more or less direct indications of a landscape, sometimes with a figure, too. The complexity of forms allows multiple interpretations of the painted motifs. In Flood and Dusk, there is a hazy light that attracts the attention first, presenting an environment where something is “in the air,” a moment of the day rather than a specific location. The use of transparent silk supports a gentle sensibility, whereas in earlier works, a rougher and edgier kind of abstraction predominated. The artist grew up in Michigan, USA, at the fringes of a city, in a setting where nature collides with human intervention. In his work, a dark outlook on the environmental situation of the world meets a poetic potential for hopeful transformation. Markwick had his first institutional solo show in Germany in 2018 at the Martin von Wagner Museum in Würzburg. In 2020 he participated in Exhibitionisms at the artist-run network Tiger Strikes Asteroid, in Chicago.

Text by Jurriaan Benschop