On a first glance, Xerxes Ach, who was born in Esslingen a.N. (Germany) in 1957, paints monochrome colour compositions. Mixing the paints himself, he likes to experiment with consistency and mixture before applying layer upon layer of paint onto the cotton dock. Light thus hits a surface made up of different materials, is refracted in a variety of ways and creates abstract images imbued with a mysterious glow. These light phenomena embody a unique microcosmos, an unfathomable universe that, looking at it, lets one forget time and space.
The exhibition title ‹inside – outside› refers on the one hand to the artist’s subjective approach to painting, i.e. the inside. Although not directly visible, Xerxes Ach uses photographs as a basis for his works. He collects newspaper clippings, book illustrations and more and more images from the internet of remote places with deserts and seascapes. However, he is not fascinated by their local situation, but rather scans them for their colour scheme and colouristic atmosphere, ‘extracting’, as he calls it, their colour and compressing it into energy. He paints mental images that are – even if triggered by external stimuli – essentially rooted in his subconscious, taking on a suggestive reality when brought to the canvas. Above all, he reacts to colours and the atmosphere they create, and is interested in how colours change when they meet different lighting conditions, materials and surface structures. His works are reconstructed memories of a colour experience or mood only the artist is privy to. It is this volatility of life, the fleetingness of mental events and the exploration of intuitive, sensual insight that is reflected in Ach’s works again and again.
For Xerxes Ach, painting is the physical materialisation and coexistence of different colours. The effects of their interplay create visual experiences that seem more tangible than what is physically there. This brings us to the ‘outside’. What effect do the paintings have on the beholder? Depending on the individual’s visual experiences, they transform sensory stimuli into aesthetic ones. The viewers lose themselves in a mental experience as they delve into a world of desire and longing.
For several weeks Xerxes Ach worked through the night to create new works for the present exhibition. They belong to the series Cosmic Lights, whose title refers to universal powers – the viewers immersing themselves in animated lights and undetermined spaces.