Lutz Fritsch is a surveyor of space; he plumbs the breadth and depth, colour temperature and visual tone of places. His self-made instruments are line and surface in graphic-sculptural combination, seemingly self-evidently proportioned measurements, and, one could say, a technical and functional based colour scale. The theatrically central, tension creating moment in his work is the almost mysterious relationship between stating and composing, between gestured/ defining placement and sensitive graphic and sculptural formation.
Fritsch develops and designs yardsticks for specific spaces which he offers up as sight assistants, so to say – be it on a piece of paper, on the walls of an exhibition space or in the middle of a landscape. His luminous red, blue, yellow, or green lacquered aluminium plates and metal objects seem almost immaterial in their artificial perfection and thereby allow for a particular attentiveness to the space surrounding them. Fritsch follows hereby a ›dialectic‹ method, joining provisionally the spectacular with the modest, and conceiving his objects as understatements and exclamation points at the same time. In providing us with these sight assistants in the form of reduced drawings and sculptures, and integrating within these the dimension of a sovereign aesthetic, he directs us past optical measurement and comparison for sure: the physical places and spaces whose characteristics Fritsch tests and questions– with the help of a compositrial austerity that can be placed between Minimalism and Landscape paintings –are expanded through his work on imaginary and associated spaces. The seeming simplicity of material intervention makes the greatness or perhaps better, the expanse of the resulting spaces for reflection and spaces for imagining possible at all. In connection with three extensive research trips to the arctic and antarctic – out of which his project »library in ice« came forth – he was again able to bring this interaction particularly distinctly before his (and our) eyes.
Part of the current exhibition in the Galerie Christian Lethert presents serial oil pastels from the years 1984-91: small condensed studies on line, surface, space. The fact that Fritsch combines these with new watercolour drawings and bigger aluminium plates is particularly attractive; by doing this he documents a span of almost 25 years in which he consistently conducted his research, sensitization, and mark setting work – playfully, profoundly, and far away, fortunately, from mainstream and trends.
Kay von Keitz