Axel Becker Palazzo Pisani Revedin: Essence and Essentiality: Minimalism

From 19 to 31 October, the Arte Borgo Gallery presents the solo exhibition of Axel Becker curated by Anna Isopo in the prestigious Palazzo Pisani Revedin in Venice, which houses one of the pavilions of the 59th Art Biennale, entitled “Essence and Essentiality: Minimalism”.

Axel Becker’s production is distinguished by a strongly minimalist style and a constant search for the essentiality of forms, in stark contrast to the chaotic set of stimuli and information which characterizes contemporary society, and in which consumerism is an integral part of the daily life. Since the notion of minimalism is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the artist expresses such contrast using a simple but extremely effective and sophisticated language, based precisely on a conceptual component of a reductionist mission, rendered in the form of three-dimensional paintings and sculptures created using various materials, including fiberglass, ceramic, carbon, tin, and bronze.
Through his predominantly monochromatic works, Becker carries out an expressive synthesis of compositional and chromatic elements endowed with particular refinement and originality, aimed at creating an intense artistic poetics rich with meaning, feelings, concepts and, above all, personality. These qualities make Axel Becker’s production incredibly peculiar: the sinuous and harmonious shapes of his sculptures alternate with the monotone tones of the paintings, between concreteness and abstraction. The result is a lyrical and symbolic evocation, a clear reference to a theoretical and artistic context, but simultaneously philosophical and metaphysical, combined together in the work of art with the aim of instilling an abstract idea and evoking the sense of the sublime and deep inner states.
In Axel Becker’s production, nature and humanity come together in a surprisingly contemporary artistic language, in which the artist overcomes the very distinction between a painting and a sculpture: this is demonstrated by his monochrome canvases with castings or incrustations of molten and relief metal, thanks to which the painting abandons the two-dimensional sphere in order to give rise to the more proper dimension of a sculpture. In the same way, using a limited chromatic range in this case, Becker breaks away from the three-dimensionality of the statuary, flattening the forms, thus preventing their “penetrability”. His sculptures (see “Homage to Munch – L’Urlo”) in fact arise from a process of simplification of the human figure; in a play of concave and convex surfaces, a structure is created using graceful shapes, with an undulatory motion and thus an emblem of an irrepressible and, at the same time, essential dynamism.
Through the aforementioned metal sedimentations, the artist-alchemist puts in place a reflection on Nature and its four elements: water as if it was petrified in its natural flow; immobile raindrops, too tired to continue with their journey; magma that solidifies on the surface suggesting a sense of durability and solidity; melted material on the surface imitating planets riddled with craters, waterfalls, and various shapes, all evocative of the vastness of Nature and the grandeur of the Cosmos.
Overall, Axel Becker’s production is entirely based on a minimal reduction of the artistic content and on the desire to achieve a formal purity which brings us back to the world of abstraction. In fact, it is apparent that the artist has learned a lesson from Mondrian, Malevich, and Klein, and reworked it in a modern and personal manner. By placing the emphasis on the objectivity and physicality of the work and relying on an essential formal lexicon, Becker goes in search of the absolute in an atmosphere of an almost religious silence, and creates works that “talk about the complexity of a soul using minimal language, a heterogeneous language polarized through a complex synthesis to the representation of reality”.

Martina Scavone