Precise manipulation of the painting’s surface has always been an important theme in Pius Fox work. Though, in this thematic exhibition, which is his fourth solo show with us, it is vital.
Monderde (moon-earth) brings together a selection of works, which is unexpectedly atmospheric. The title reminds of a surface made from rock and dust – an environment in shades of black, white and grey, marked by craters and rising grounds. A play with distance and proximity, scale, light and shadows is an essential element of this body of works. Some paintings seem to reveal a glance at far away galaxies, but it is never certain whether it is microscopic detail or the extensiveness of the universe that Fox had in mind.
Fortunately, despite the topic, colour is an important element of this show. A high level of sophistication, regarding composition and combination of colour, is one of the artists great strengths and is shown here, once again.
The engagement with the human figure and architectural explorations of space, which are often subject in Fox work, are not dominant in these works.
Small-scale paintings on paper or canvas are opposed to large oil paintings and Hinterglasmalerei (reverse glass painting), an art form used by Fox for several years now. Fox builds up multiple layers of paint with brushes and palette-knives to create a surface, then removes and scratches into them to allow for underlying colours to shine and break through. This play with transparency and masking plays an essential role in his work.