THE FORM OF THE THINGS
Zoomby Zangger at Galerie Eulenspiegel
The recent works of Zoomby Zangger tackled the aesthetic category. Since at least the early 80’s, when he created a monumental finger print outside a police station on the Clarastrasse, Zoomby Zangger was no longer an unknown in Basel. Since then, the formal language of his artistic expression refined itself. Prolonged journeys and stays abroad made him sensitive to other styles of artistic expressions. Some of these styles, techniques and some exotic motifs found their way into some of his paintings, drawings and sculptures. Essentially, Zoomby Zangger holds a fascination for the discreet structures and shapes of things that often goes unnoticed by most people. Although Zoomby’s works comes to life mainly on his atelier in Basle, his overseas sojourn gives him the chance to get away from his routine, and provides him with the opportunity to open his artistic mind to new and different ideas.
The last works of Zoomby Zangger exhibited at the Gallery Eulenspiegel are kept simple and shows how he tackles the look and shape of flowers. The paintings are executed in black and white so that the relationship between positive and negative shapes, between outline and object offers the most contrast. Zangger addresses the aesthetic category which artistically speaking isn’t achieved without difficulty.
Artists who give serious thoughts to the beautiful seems always forced to have to defend the art against being superficial, ornamental or kitsch. Another perspective is found in the history of Far Eastern art that places the substance at all times to the visual appearance. In Zangger’s works, one can easily recognise the cultural influence he absorbed from his Asian trips.
In the pencil drawings on Japanese paper, the contour lines gains additional importance and it is reservedly supplemented with surfaces in gold – the only element giving it form. An elementary difference seems to exist only superficially between art and drawings. All the works show a unique preoccupation realized through various means and possibilities.
Zangger makes the form of things the crucial constant. The technical variety and concentration of a few recurrent motifs prevent the works from appearing excessively all too free-at-will. In an aesthetically appealing combination between pop art and Far Eastern calligraphy, he assumes the representation of the simplest forms without thereby giving the impression of being Iconic. One will note in his paintings a research persistent on the best realisation possible of every particular shape – and it is here that Zangger is assured that he has opened the door to his future.
Basler Zeitung 10.5.2007
Translated from German by A.R Talib