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Michael Krebber is yet another German painter working within the medium while professing skepticism about its efficacy as a contemporary art form. While hardly confined to Germany, this attitude is particularly understandable in a country where high culture was once weaponized in the service of barbarism. In this show, Krebber’s own approach to this paradoxical legacy is to offer barely-there canvases that leave a lot to think about, or not much to look at, depending on your point of view.
Rendered against stark-white backgrounds, Krebber’s abortive abstract flourishes and doodle-like images of fish and snails are delivered with wholehearted commitment even as they appear to have been halfheartedly left unfinished by an artist with more pressing matters on his mind. Some paintings are covered by halftone dots—a nod, perhaps, to Sigmar Polke’s use of the same or to Walter Benjamin’s contention that the mass reproduction of artworks robs them of their power to awe and inspire. Krebber’s paintings do neither, but they do dare you to take them seriously, which might be saying something after all.