Completed in a rural location in 2022, the paintings in temperatures of time use colour, shape and surface to visualise the universe and the forces at play within it. At times, Pleitner’s primordial forms feel rooted in nature, evoking the dense thronging of foliage or celestial bodies ascending in the sky. Elsewhere, arching lines in deep colours give shape to a more cosmic plane, picturing forces beyond our visual ability or comprehension: flashing bands of colour, forming a leaky kaleidoscope of surface texture. In both instances, his complex, heady paintings feel both familiar and strange, as if tapping into a primal or universal language that we innately understand.
Describing his process as ‘emotional’ and ‘intuitive’, Pleitner approaches painting as a way ‘to visualise phenomena that cannot be rationally explained’. Though the works are visually dynamic, Pleitner’s painting process is more meditative, combining an intense physical engagement with the canvas – scraping away layers of paint, or using hands to blend colours – with a more cerebral journey of concentration and visualisation, of summoning images into reality as if from another plane. Painted on light or dark grounds, his paintings often appear as they are surfacing from a cosmic darkness, light rays that flash before our eyes before retreating again. From this intuitive, even spiritual standpoint, Pleitner continually works to develop and redevelop his own distinct language within the tradition of abstract painting. His works strive to find a sense of hope, celebrating the energising potential of painting: through the act of looking, we embark on a visual and spiritual journey that not only attunes our senses to the world, but also turns us inwards onto a contemplative and imaginative plane.
TEMPERATURES OF TIME
TEMPERATUREN DER ZEIT
We are delighted to announce Jan Pleitner's first monograph. Published by Verlag Für Moderne Kunst, Temperatures of Time provides a retrospective overview of his work from 2004-2020 with key exhibitions, main works and important stations in his creative work. The book includes texts by Christian Malycha and Declan Long and a conversation between the artist and Hannah Eckstein.