Visitors to a Markus Linnenbrink exhibition will find it hard to believe that the German-born artist, now a resident of Brooklyn, once favoured black and white and shunned anything chromatic – even to the point of allegedly expressing a fear of colour.
Today his name is synonymous with vibrant hues, which he wields in various forms, including sculpture. Most notable are the site-specific painting installations that encompass walls, ceiling and floor. For these, Linnenbrink layers a space in horizontal stripes of paint, strategically applied and permitted to drip and blend as gravity takes over.
The result often leads to a personal relationship between viewer and art, based on the former’s unique perception of the immersive atmosphere and the artist’s methodical use of colour to heighten the experience. For Everybodywilldanceifwe’redoingitright – an installation that appeared at the Ameringer McEnery Yohe gallery and referenced Daft Punk’s ‘Doin’ It Right’ – he triggered emotions by covering an entire room in iridescent paint.
Linnenbrink’s attempt to wrap the viewer in a veritable rainbow arguably speaks to his discovery of colour as a liberating medium that can not only spark the imagination but actually alter reality.
Photos Thomas Quigley