There is a strong sense of the theatrical running through Lothar Götz’s solo show at Domobaal gallery. The murals and individual works are made of bright harlequinesque colours and designs. There are long PVC curtains with silkscreen printed disks that cover the windows and block out natural light. A purpose built wall breaks into the space and serves as both a stand for paintings while also subtly forcing the viewer to enter the room from the right, as if entering a stage.
Within the main gallery space the works on paper presented in vitrines have the textured appearance of unassembled paper planes, with each fold represented as a different colour. The concertina-like disks and geometric shapes suggest the flattened nets of boxes or origami toys. This sense of play and the potential malleability in Götz’s works give them depth of perspective; I can imagine being able to pull the large works around me, draw them aside or step into the straight lines that disappear over the abstract horizon of his wall murals. His pieces that fill a whole space are a landscape that the viewer enters, or a stage on which we perform our viewing. In a previous interview Götz said his work “doesn’t end where the paint ends, but is about the whole space. It is something performative […] an interaction between the viewer and the work”.
The interactive lineage that Götz references is a world deeply involved in the musical and the theatrical. From the 1913 Russian Futurist Opera ‘Victory over the Sun’, to the figurative abstraction of Paul Klee and El Lissitzky, Götz’s work is filled with music and dance, with the subjects represented by geometric lines. The paintings hung on canvas in Domobaal describe figurines posed in a variety of situations such as ‘Figurine Disappearing to the Left’, and ‘Figurine in the Blue Room’. The series of vitrine pencil works are numbered and given the ballet term ‘Pas de Trois’. The aesthetic of the works speaks to the sensual performance of clowning rather than the cerebral analysis of the gallery. But the artist isn’t simply attempting to blur the lines between performative art-forms and the static. The accompanying essay to the exhibition suggests Götz uses the seemingly contradictory styles of the Bauhaus and the Baroque, one explicitly paired back, the other characterised by exquisite decoration, and that the two are not as separate as they first might appear. For this series of works Götz has stripped the figurative representation back to its sparest lines, while embellishing the sense of people and movement with colour. Though the lines used are minimal in this exhibition, the work is far from Minimalist. As the artist sees it; “If you have a staircase that is completely white and you add colour, it doesn’t change the function but it does completely change our experience of going up and down the stairs”. Similarly, you can have a monochrome figure shown standing on canvas, but add colour and suddenly it is dancing.