Heimo Zobernig
ohne Titel (REAL), 1999

Heimo Zobernig’s painting REAL has as its theme the claims of art to reality, initially articulated through color. “Real, according to color theory, is the surface color of the basic backdrop (which becomes evident through the phenomenal reality of being lit) as opposed to the ‘illusionist’ color of the surfaces of the objects portrayed. The format of the four letters of the word ‘Real’ set into the colored surfaces is so large that the reality of the picture and the reality of the text overlap.” The picture’s colors are applied onto the background, while the arrangement of the geometric, colored areas that make up the letters appears to be more important than the legibility of the word. In Zobernig’s view, artistic, compositional considerations are no less important than the legibility of the word and its typography. Commonly held understandings of value therefore lose their significance and only its actual existence as a picture makes a picture real.

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