Introduction: Dr. Harald Krämer, University of Bern, Switzerland, Institute of Art History
Robert Schaberl has developed a series of paintings which are entiteled “Zentralformen” (Central Forms). These monochromatic pictures adress themselves directly to the nature of painting as a material practice, whilst avoiding the pitfalls of a reductive "minimalist" discourse. Rather than using this medium to create illusory space, Schaberl has opted to investigate the relationship that develops through the interaction of painting, light and viewer.
The "Central Forms" are intended to appeal at first to sensual perception.The viewer will be captivated by the iridescent concentration of light on the shiny surface of the picture. Once he or she approaches the surface this impression changes. What the viewer believed he/she saw is no longer tangible up close, since it becomes dissolved in color mass, scratches and reflections. From a distance what one sees is a color surface where light is concentrated in the center, resulting in a non-distinct, color-spatial situation. The picture prompts the viewer to keep moving so as to be able to get as much information as possible from its' surface, the material and how light reflects off of it. He/she feels tempted to touch the surface, which reveals a diversity of materials but does not immediately suggest oil paint.