Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-699-19207778 -

10.3.- 7.5.2016
Opening: Thursday 10th March 2016, 6 pm
Finissage: Saturday, May 7, 2016, 6 pm
WHERE: Galerie Michaela Stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna

Particulates are parts of matter suspended in the air which do not immediately sink to the earth, but remain in the atmosphere for some time. The tiny particles are not visible to the naked eye. Particulates may be of natural origin or the product of human action.

A huge amount of particulates also result the work with charcoal. In its current exhibition FINE PARTICULATES, Galerie Michaela Stock presents drawings by Latvian artist Victors Svikis (*1978 in Riga). What is striking in Svikis' method of drawing is his procedure, which reveals a highly tense examination of technical virtuosity and depth of content.

Sometimes, he uses charcoal in a linear, sometimes in a sharp way, sometimes broadly blurred or multi-layered on the paper hidden on the canvas in an almost picturesque way. The loosely floating pigments cause a smooth smearing of the dust, resulting in large canvas-scale shadings, ranging from grey to anthracite shades, combined with simple graffiti-style drawings.

Svikis himself said: "First, the charcoal dust was a waste product on the floor of my studio, the result of an intense drawing session. Then, I put a prepared canvas with a hidden piece of paper under the picture in order to preserve the traces of this activity. To me, working with charcoal in such a way represents the entire essence of art. A discursive, supplemental process which evokes various levels and manners of drawing, complementing each other in their diversity."

A priori, Svikis is interested in the reciprocal relation of the figuratively concrete drawing. The theory of images and drawings defines symbols, which are characterized by their extraordinary relation with reality and which are called "index". Charles Sanders Peirce defines them as follows: "An index is a symbol, which fulfills its function thanks to a characteristic, which it could not have unless its object existed." 1 An index is a symbol maintaining the relation with what is denominated by way of direct causation such as traces, markings or printings.

Svikis' focus lies on the process of picture production, which now becomes a theme in itself. The images undermine the borders between reality and fiction. The indexical symbol works, as Peirce defined it, physically as imprint or trace and, thus, presupposes the actual, concrete presence of what it denominates. The index of figurative images is abstracted, resulting in a causal relation between abstract and concrete drawing. A piece of work determined by the index (the trace) becomes an icon (the symbol), drawing a concrete image from an abstraction and an abstraction from symbols.

1 Charles Sanders Peirce, Schriften zum Pragmatismus und Pragmatizismus, H: Apel, Frankfurt/Main 1991, S. 363

press photo 1 | Viktors Svikis, Roter Oktober, 2016, charcoal on paper, mounted on cotton, 200 x 160 cm
press photo 2 | Viktors Svikis, Untitled, 2016, charcoal on paper, mounted on cotton, 190 x 150 cm

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