Playing with the conventions of Dutch 17th and 18th century pastoral landscape painting, Skreber takes an apparently tranquil scene - a house in a landscape - and increases the size a hundredfold, here throwing the house into sharp relief against a brilliant blue sky. There is something profoundly unsettling about this mocking of a genre which saught to convey the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Divine Creator in a peaceful world of hard-working, modest people. A closer look at the paint surface reveals more disturbing details: the myriad drips of paint splattered across the sky and the unnatural emptiness of the scene, devoid of human presence, infuse the painting with an eerie sense of discomfort. All is not well here. We are filled with the sense of having arrived in the aftermath of some terrible destructive event - made by man or nature.
Depictions of car crashes, floods, floating buildings and other representations of catastrophes that have just happened or which are about to occur any second are typical of Skreber'’s oeure. The aerial or birds-eye perspective which he often uses references surveillance footage and spy technology, and serves to heighten the uneasiness present in his compositions. The illusory space and weird light inhabited by the house in Untitled recall the Surrealist landscapes of Tanguy, de Chirico and Dali. The drips of paint mark a gesture to abstraction that contradict the precision with which the building is articulated and simultaneously serve to upset the equilibrium implied by the clear blue sky.
Skreber challenges the contradiction between beauty and catastrophe, and between representation and perception: the monumentality of the painting itself and the imaginary scene depicted create a powerful tension and serve as a reflection on the relativity of truth in life as in art.