Colin Penno at Berthold Pott / Cologne

Colin Penno / MOB

8 September – 7 October 2017

Berthold Pott
An der Schanz 1a
50735 Cologne

Prismatic colours shine through under the surface of
the broken form of Colin Penno’s ‘shaped canvas’. Painted over – you could
almost say inundated with black paint – a tension between the contrary layers
of colour builds up on the surface of the large panel painting SCABO. It triggers a longing for what is
absent, which is equivalent to a manifestation of actual beauty. Penno clearly
increases this degree of absence in the white, L-shaped work SCIT, which hangs adjacently and appears
as though it has detached itself from SCABO.
This ‘fragment’ – and this once again demonstrates the potency of the panel
painting in the Western tradition and, with this, in the Western perception –
can barely stand on its own on the wall. Instead, it refers to a void, or to be
more precise to the rectangular form of the painting. One is instinctively
tempted to insert the piece, as though in a puzzle, into the form of SCABO; but it doesn’t fit, it refuses to
– the impulse thwarts itself.
A constant theme of this new series, which is being
presented for the first time in this constellation, are the interrelationships,
transitions, and breaks between painting and its expansions into space, even
into sculpture. Penno plays through this with numerous variants. In this
context, his smaller amorphous wall piece are, in a certain sense, ‘convivial’;
they extend the dialogue between two works. A pair with two nearly identical
incisions, which declare the wall behind as part of the painting; oddly-shaped,
seemingly incidental contours call to mind communicating tubes, the connection
of which is not visible. Were one to lay them over each other like fitting
elements, they would create an optical illusion. Their difference becomes
increasingly obvious, and the idea merges into irregularity and shapelessness.
For the Untitled Grip-Painting, Penno
uses grip tape, which ensures the slip resistance of skateboards.
Simultaneously repellent and fascinating, this challenges the viewer and tempts
him through the shimmering colourfulness that lies behind. The pair, SCAT and SCUTA, protrude far out into the space; the reliefs conceal more
than they reveal and ultimately manifest themselves in another pair of
free-standing sculptures consisting of cut-outs stacked on top of each other.
Penno unleashes strong dynamics between the works of
the dyads and their relationship to the other pairs. The forms that illusorily
wander through the space appear coincidental, but have actually been
painstakingly planned and composed on the computer with drawings. Penno applies
the paint to the works while they lie on the floor; not seldom do they
initially spend a lot of time in this horizontal position – footprints and
other traces provide evidence of this genesis. Despite all the preparatory
work, Penno sees chance and the production process as being variable and
precisely for this reason also as meaningful, in the sense that they provide
meaning. He explores the form of the panel painting and its sculptural
expansion into space as a kind of anti-panel-painting. Here as well, one finds
the raster dots that call to mind the silkscreen process but have actually been
applied manually by Penno. And the printed fabrics that serve as the painting
support form one of the many substances of the images that lie and endure in
the absent layers – barely audible.
Anna Fricke

Colin Penno (born 1980, lives and works in Essen, Studies: 2003-2010:
Folkwang UDK, Essen, Diploma Photography, 2010-2015 Academy of Art, Düsseldorf
(2015 master class)
selected solo
: Berthold Pott (2017,
2015, 2013), NADA New York (2016), The Cabin, Los Angeles; USA (2015), Schloß
Rheda-Wiedenbrück (2014), Walzwerk Düsseldorf (2013)
selected group
: Lepsien Art
Foundation, Düsseldorf (2017), Geukens De Vil, Antwerp, Belgium (2016/2017),
Sunday´s Copenhagen, Denmark (2016), Hort Family Collection, New York, USA
(2016), Auction Exhibitio Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (MDD), Ghent, Belgium (2016),
McKinsey, curated by Arne Reimann, Düsseldorf (2015), Berthold Pott, Cologne
(2014), Maschienenhaus Essen (2013), Kunsthaus Essen (2013)