What You Need to Know: German artist Herbert Hamak (b. 1952) is the subject of a major survey exhibition at Studio la Città, Verona, with works from the early 1990s through today—including some which have never been exhibited before. On view through October 29, the title of the show—“Herbert Hamak: Kobalt Grün, Permanent Rot, Ultramarinblau Dunkel, Permanent Gelb”—references the German names of pigments that appear most frequently in Hamak’s work (in English: cobalt green, permanent red, deep ultramarine blue, and permanent yellow). Accompanying the exhibition is a lavishly illustrated monograph, , featuring essays by Marco Meneguzzo and Rolf Lauter, as well as selected excerpts from writings by critics, curators, journalists, and museum directors who have experience with Hamak’s work. It traces the artist’s involvement with Studio la Città over the last 30 years—including gallery exhibitions, presentations at art fairs, site-specific artworks, and installations both public and private.
Why We Like It: Color and mass are the foundation of Hamak’s artistic practice, and they offer an organizing principle for the exhibition. Within the installation, a distinct centerline accentuates each piece’s unique form and weight (whether real or perceived), while jars of the pigments themselves are placed within the groupings of works of the same color, reminding the viewer of its purest state. Over the course of his career, Hamak, who considers himself a painter, has consistently used poured resin to give color form. The material appears across his works in varying degrees of opacity, and in some instances where it has run over or picked up texture from the form when it was made—an indexical sign of how the piece was created. These colorful resin pieces are then mounted to canvas, playing with the delineation between painting and sculpture. The show is an entrancing, meditative journey through Hamak’s explorations of light, color, and mass over the past 30 years.
According to the Gallery: “Studio la Città aims to present an exhibition that is, on the one hand, a summa of the artist’s work from the beginning and, on the other hand, an opportunity to exhibit previously unpublished works, which have been kept in the artist’s studio until now.…One of the key aspects of his art is of passage: a state of passage and of a condition in which color and three-dimensionality in space live together in perfect harmony. His most recent work has more complex forms than the earlier ones: there are further allusions to architectural glimpse, as well as forms reminiscent of Renaissance painting.”
See inside the exhibition below.