EDITOR: Wallace Whitney, LANGUAGE: English, FORMAT: 23.5 × 29 cm, FEATURES: 144 pages, numerous color images, Hardcover with linen; RELEASE: November 2020
Robert Janitz (b. Alsfeld, Germany, 1962; lives and works in New York) makes paintings that uncover processes, exploring the interplay between movement, gesture, and rhythm in the picture. Having prepared his canvases with an undercoat of paint showing a color gradient, he then dabs on a blend of oil, wax, and flour in a technique that repurposes the basic hand movements involved in acts such as buttering a slice of bread or laying on a coat of tile mortar: gestures from everyday life and skilled manual labor. The wide geometrically patterned brushstrokes in Janitz’s compositions also evince symmetrical structures and linear features that are reminiscent of the Latin alphabet or Devanagari, a script used to write Sanskrit that the artist studied. In addition to its uniformly aesthetic and contemplative effect, Janitz’s impasto brushwork reflects a novel and distinctive engagement with abstraction in painting in the tradition of masters like Markus Lüpertz and Günter Förg. With generous spontaneity and painterly accuracy, the artist synthesizes color and form without veering into the narrative register.
After stints in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Paris, Janitz has called New York home for more than a decade. The monograph documents the work he has created there. With essays by Catherine Taft and Suzanne Hudson.