Blood Into Gold: Andreas Nottebohm’s Alchemic Quest

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With works that conjure with astonishing virtuosity the other-worldly and the intensely intimate, renowned Northern California artist Andreas NottebohmÂ?s four-decade exploration into the pathways of light-borne expression comes to HoustonÂ?s New Gallery on Saturday, March 19th, 2005.

Black Hole Studio; with works that conjure with astonishing virtuosity the other-worldly and the intensely intimate, renowned Northern California artist Andreas Nottebohm’s four-decade exploration into the pathways of light-borne expression comes to Houston’s New Gallery on Saturday, March 19th, 2005.

Media alert: Join us at the reception for Andreas Nottebohm, Saturday, March 19th, 6pm-8pm. Call or email to schedule interviews in Houston, March 18-20.

Exemplifying what French Phenomenologist, Gaston Bachelard, identified as the state of “intimate immensity,” the paintings of Andreas Nottebohm have cast a spell over the arts and sciences since his emergence as one of late ‘60s Europe’s most celebrated young painters. Beginning with haunting, gem-hard acrylic-on-metal miniatures, often with scientific and astronomical themes, Nottebohm’s style and scope have grown over the years in both power and mastery.

In the seventies, Nottebohm moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout the next several decades, his ability to visually represent the aspirations and conundrums of scientific exploration whether at the cosmic and the sub-atomic levels, led to a series of commissions from leading technology companies like Bell Atlantic, GTE, Hughes Aircraft, and others. His works were similarly sought after and exhibited at institutions such as NASA, the Smithsonian, the Ames Research Center, the California Museum of Science, National Museum of Science, the United States Arts In Embassies Program, German Bundestag, and more.

Nottebohm’s deep grasp of the interaction between metal and light has led to his recognition as the pioneer of the “art of aluminum.” His intimacy with the planet’s most widely-distributed – and among its most-difficult-to-use – metals, has led to his diminishing reliance on paint as a medium of expression. Instead, his cunning working of the raw aluminum surface itself has given birth to a new artistic realm that might be called “sculptures within a flat plane.”

It is Nottebohm’s manipulation of the top one-hundredth of a millimeter of sheet aluminum and the resulting interaction with photons of light, that create “canvases” of profound beauty, mystery, insight and value. It is instructive to observe viewers of Nottebohm’s paintings as they try to maneuver themselves inside of a ‘scape that is neither ‘land’ nor ‘sea,’ nor even ‘space,’ but something entirely different and – often - highly personal.

Truly, Andreas Nottebohm’s art must be seen to be believed. But if his work is analogous to that of some later-day alchemist, his latest innovation, the use of blood as a primary pigment, has taken this art even more deeply into the realm where the mystical and scientific collide.

Rather that an expected red, the dried mixture produces an unexpectedly rich golden hue that might have made Middle Ages magicians see green. Even more important, from the philosophical viewpoints that underpin Nottebohm’s work, the application of this blood-film preserves within it the DNA that is the genetic blueprint of the artist, or anyone else who donates their blood. This, in turn, vaults Andreas Nottebohm’s work into new realms of science, physics, and in this latest case, biology, that he has always sought as subjects to represent through his art, and which can be seen at Houston’s New Gallery beginning on Saturday, March 19th , 2005.

At the New Gallery opening, San Francisco-based writer, critic and historian Richard Rapaport will discuss the physics, meta-physics and trans-physics of the art of Andreas Nottebohm.

Contact: Sandra Weinstein: (707) 373-4397

Blood Into Gold:

Andreas Nottebohm’s Alchemic Quest

at Houston’s New Gallery--2627 Colquitt

March 19th-April 16th 2005

Artist's Reception: March 19th 6pm-8pm

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