But if we stopped thinking about painting as something that goes from inside to outside (spirit, vomit) couldn’t art just start and even stay out here where it already is? Not output, not translation or transposition, not getting anything over on or across to anyone. Instead, painting already here, with us, in the midst of its own situation. Starting with hatred of canvas. And the weird dynamism of certain materials: liquid, adhesive, repellent, stubborn, funny. Without any idea, all of this is already here, already suggesting possible moves. Of course there are ideas too and many things to say, but not to start or end with these.
A painting can become a diagram of its own making. Some works seem to verge on writing while for sure doing something other than writing. Others look unsure about what they’re doing, but as if aiming for this uncertainty. No longer wanting to touch or see canvas, Eichwald goes with softer, suppler and more pliable supports (paper, Pleather), testing and combining the viscous and watery, sluggish and flowing, thick and thin possibilities of other specific materials (shellac, ink, acrylic, lacquer, wood stain, stage blood). She uses a brush and sometimes a roller, and involves other nearby objects such as a terrace railing and flowerpots.
Eichwald sets up and activates situations that sometimes start off badly, then finds good ways of going through them. Or maybe these are ways to forget about painting. Not a translation or communication of anything: more like setting up painting as its own vehicle. To get from here to here. A mapping-out with itself, to get out again. The resoluteness of and commitment to being out here with us and to plasticity, to keeping at it. Some paintings find the tougher, harder way toward lightness. Something needs to happen: painting invents another way of moving within its own dreadful limits. And this might not have happened at all. Each time it really feels like the very last time for painting. Not again?!
Letzte Arbeiten is Eichwald’s fifth show with Reena Spaulings and our first on Santa Monica Blvd.
And a little bio:
Born and raised in a village near Cologne. Currently lives in Berlin, teaches in Vienna. Recent exhibitions in Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Lenbachhaus Munich and Kunsthalle Basel.