Enrico Bach: With Ifs and Buts

16 June - 7 August 2016

Enrico Bach’s paintings manifest most often through the repeated use of a dominant right angle motif, sharp forms and hard edges, all executed with extraordinary technical precision. Measure and proportion are used to define single forms and/or groups that in turn reflect specific geometries and, more broadly, the geometric world of ‘forms’. Under further investigation it becomes apparent that these forms hint at three-dimensional objects redolent of architectural facades, boxes or storage systems. 


Both these divergent aspects of the geometric form are amplified by Bach’s choice of colour. While his motifs are, on one hand robust and ‘technoid’, almost engineered in terms of accuracy, they are at the same time realised with great subtlety.  Using a very specific palette of colours and tones, Bach encourages the viewer to consider the forms as both two-dimensional (painted shapes) and three-dimensional (painted objects), employing with great skill both linear and colour perspective.


Bach's paintings are constructed in such a way that they gain a sort of luminosity or glow. Through the conscious introduction of three-dimensional spatial effects – using a line of shadow, a contour or a suggestion of perspective – he is able to transform a part of a painting into an object within an illusion of space. His process allows him to produce an optical effect similar to embossing or debossing, or to create sections that appear to protrude from the painting surface. Having realised a sort of trompe l’oeil effect Bach immediately undermines it, forcing the viewer once again into a strict appreciation of the two-dimensional composition.


Surface and space are in a tense dialogue with colour.


As much as Enrico Bach's oeuvre appears to be characterised by the dominance of his technical skill and ability to control perspective and depth effects, he has also developed a feeling for the 'otherness' of his paintings: spontaneity, haphazardness in the painting process and associative openness in the final work. The technical virtuosity of his paintings seduce only then to disclose the ‘otherness’ that in turn subverts and disorientates.