For this year’s DC OPEN, the Galerie Christian Lethert is presenting a fourth solo exhibition of works by Daniel Lergon (born in 1978).
Since beginning his studies at the Universität der Künste (UdK) in Berlin with Professor Lothar Baumgarten, in his painting, Daniel Lergon has been dealing with the correlative interplay between light and surface, and the optical effects and perceptions that result from this. Whereas in his early works, Lergon used color pigments within the range of the color spectrum, applying them to all kinds of transparent, reflecting, and absorptive material surfaces, he later also included colors at the very extremes of the spectrum into his work. His intensive study of the colors was thus always tied to the materiality of the painting’s ground and the question regarding this influence this would have on the viewer’s perception.
Since 2007, Lergon has been working without using color pigments directly, painting instead with colorless, clear lacquer on technical grounds. These initially grey, later white, retro reflective materials behave unusually concerning how they reflect the light. By using them, Lergon creates a painting that dispenses with color pigments, and which essentially comes about in the special reflection of the light upon the varnish and painting’s ground.
Here, the theme of light has been linked to the notion of shadows. In his new, black works, instead of using bright, light, reflecting materials Lergon paints on a black ground, which, due to its consistency, reflects the light less intensively. The varyingly dense traces of the transparent painting varnish yield extremely different intensities of darkness. Hence, the title of the exhibition: ANTUMBRA – a term used in astronomy or geometrical optics that describes the area behind the darkest part of a shadow from which the occluding body appears entirely contained within the disc of the light source.