Katrin Bettina Müller


The reversal of seeing


Thomas Anschütz - Photographer and Painter of the Black and White With the help of photography, one can stop the world in order to investigate, as it were, the connection between the disturbing appearances and the feelings that are triggered by them ", wrote the painter and photographer Thomas Anschütz in 1980 His studies with the Hamburg realists Kurt Haug and Rudolf Hausner did not take place long ago, nor did the demand for knowledge of reality characterize the artistic search, but in Thomas Anschütz's photography a different interest in the visual means already arose reduced structures of light and shadow into the picture, which showed hardly identifiable objects such as edges of buildings and pipes and were unsuitable as carriers of meaning.The registered forms were not considered as proxies for out-of-bounds.It seems paradoxical, but the documentary function of the medium Photography legitimized the artist, who was still committed to realism, to get to the bottom of the laws of minimalist image structures. In the collection of formal analogies he distanced himself from the construction of meaning. But it was a long way before the brush was freed from the reproduction and interpretation of reality. Eight years in New York have accelerated the pulse of his pictures.


Today Anschütz no longer tries to stop the world for his pictures. Just their rotation allows life. What appeals to me in the painterly compositions of pre-rows and retreats, expanding fields and purring lines is the moment of movement. Reality he no longer examines the sedated object with the distant view of the scientist. Rather, in the process of painting, it arises in a complexity in which even edge blurs contain information. In the art of light art, the painter had already anticipated the dissolution of the image into black and white structures. They provided the syntax of the picturesque language without filling it with the associative loquacity and the emotional burden of color. Random forms, moments, found things, as in the photographic motifs give rise to the occasion. Set on canvas, they develop a life of their own. Objective hints offer starting points - it is not about their metaphorical exaggeration, but about the equivalent training in the picture.


The uniqueness of the space is resolved as well as the recognizability of a temporal succession of the picturesque layers. A thin, white line that serves as a link between the image depth and the surface destroys the continuity of perspective. The factor of time that the long painterly process takes the seconds of the photographic

Exposure ahead gives the picture history. Yet it is more than the document of its creation, for it attests to the simultaneity of different levels of perception and memory, which, in contrasting zones of crossfading, constantly generate new images.


Black bars push white space back, white veils blur across black depths; Surface, space and body dissolve. It is no longer clear which dimension we are in. The relativity of time and space transcends the everyday boundaries of our perception: Articulated in the scientific formula, it is not something that space travelers can experience for us in the arts alone.


The present is reflected in the material and forms of image processing. Anschütz brings together painting and photography in a new process that blurs the separation of the fictional and documentary function even more: he paints transparent film - negatives of images - which he first gains as a magnified positive. As with the microscope, he penetrates into the microstructures of painting. The unforeseen arises from the process of reversal: lightning and points of light, created from black splashes, tear the surface apart. What was previously unstructured surface appears as a relief of the finest elevations and depressions. Painterly control is somewhat overridden on the path of liberation from the conventions of perception.