Matthias Weischer's interiors represent an extraordinary painterly feat: juggling the figurative, abstract and ornamental to create layers of objects in space. Playfully referencing art history - which all contemporary painting must inevitably do - either in the composition of the painting itself, as here, where the yellow curtain cannot help but evoke the memory of Yves Klein's exhibition at the Galerie Iris Clert in 1958, the walls bare but for a white curtain hanging in the corner, or David Hockney's colour drawings of the early 1970s with their suffused light suspending the image in time, or by including landmark works of contemporary art apparently floating in space - a Robert Gober leg here, a Brice Marden abstract there - as in his new paintings, recently on exhibition at the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
His palette is a curious and seductive mix of intense, saturated colour, juxtaposed with the muted tones of a DDR council flat interior, possibly found in his adopted city of Leipzig. But this is no ordinary room. Rather than inviting the viewer to enter the pictorial space, the centre of the painting is dominated by the corner of a jutting wall, bare of ornament. The sense of theatre, of a stage set for action, present in all Weischer's paintings, is heightened here. The space is empty of human presence and activity but pregnant with expectation of action, the gaudy carpet and rug and the contrasting lushness of the yellow curtain presenting the viewer with the only poignant signs of life.
With the deliberate splashes and drips of paint splattered across the surface of the work, Weischer constantly reminds us of its painterliness, preventing any narrative reading or actual verisimilitude to comfort the viewer.
The pervasive mood of Untitled is one of stillness but not tranquillity - light infuses the painting from beyond the curtain, but what should be a window is painted flat, implying a closed space with no aperture. Where a classical painter would struggle to create illusionistic light, Weischer turns this painterly device on its head, tricking the viewer and infusing the work with the artifice of stage-lighting. The lush painterly surface hypnotises and seduces the viewer, making it hard to tear one's eyes away, but the painting itself remains ultimately mysterious and unknowable.