Markus Amm

7 April - 7 May 2022
Installation Views
Press release

Gallery Baton is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Markus Amm (b. 1969) from the 7th of April to the 7th of May. This is the first monographic presentation in Asia by the artist, following his inclusion in the gallery's group exhibition A Little After The Millennium (2020). With the seductive minimality of pure colored abstraction dominating the canvas, Amm's work evokes conceptual and conflicting elements of time, performance, intent, and coincidence. This exhibition will be an opportunity to explore how the materials of painting, transformed by skilled techniques and processes, converge into a range of abstract images.
Amm's working method reflects his philosophy of pursuing a balance between contingency and intuition. To prepare each painting's surface, layers of gesso are gradually built up by pouring, brushing, and sanding between each application. The artist then carefully applies washes of oil paint, and the chemical interactions created by the concentration and composition of pigments result in the interplay of light and hues which crystallise as the medium dries. This process, which the artist describes as a ping pong game of ideas, gestures, and materials, is guided by elements of chance which, despite Amm's deep understanding of his medium, can lead to unintentional and surprising results.
An element of time pervades Amm's idiosyncratic process on a physical and meditative level. Each layer is impacted by the conditions of light, humidity, and air in the artist's studio in Switzerland. Just as tree rings are shaped by the environment around them, the surfaces of Amm's paintings change according to external factors and affect their superimposed materials, resulting in a unique 'crust' visible on the sides of each work. The form of the layers embodies the history of Amm's repeated, mechanical, performance.
On the other hand, there is the meditative flow of time which should also be considered. The final part of completing each work is a period of waiting for inspiration to strike. Before applying the last layers, Amm leaves the work hanging in his studio for up to several years and observes it. This is the most important step as observation leads to contemplation, allowing the artist to fully interact with the work and arrive at a 'Eureka moment'. Amm's completed paintings, surrounded by silence, imbued with delicate details and subtleties, arouse a variety of emotions in each viewer and lead them to experience the artist's 'fascinating moment'.

Markus Amm lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. He has held solo exhibitions at numerous prestigious museums such Kunsthaus Baselland in Basel, Switzerland (2017) and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany (2010). Amm has also been included in group exhibitions at Fondation Thalie, Brussels (2021) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the USA (2014). His works are in the collections of Deutsche Bank, Germany; Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien Sammlung Zeitgenössische Kunst des Bundes, Germany; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; and the Dallas Museum of Art, the USA.