Cultured Magazine

Fall 2015

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150 CULTURED COLOR THEORY Artist Markus Linnenbrink brings big color—and a few surprises—to Miami. BY SABRINA WIRTH O n a hot summer day, it's easy to look at one of Markus Linnenbrink's large-scale, striped paintings, and empathize with the drips of paint oozing down the custom-made wooden boards hanging on the wall. Reminiscent of a Gerhard Richter turned on its side, the paintings seduce the viewer with their shiny and colorful surfaces suspended in perpetual slow motion. Contrasted with his paintings of eclectic topographies made up of multiple rings of color, the works reveal a depth that becomes more evident the longer one stands before them. "There are a lot of things that can pop up," says Linnenbrink. "When you look at them, they're just color, but then you scratch on the surface and think about it and think about time and process, and what you are looking at and how it changes." Perhaps the best way to experience Linnenbrink's artwork, however, may be by walking into or through it. Among the hundreds of projects he has all over the world, his wall paintings are in high demand because of the extraordinary effect the dripping, floor-to-ceiling bands of color have on a viewer. "It's like being inside a painting," he says. Some of his past wall paintings include the visitor's tunnel in Dusseldorf, Germany of the Justiz Vollzugs Anstalt prison and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' entrance lobby. In New York City, Linnenbrink was commissioned to create a massive, 7-foot-by-90- foot painting for the lobby of 75 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown, and in Miami, Related Group's Jorge Pérez may be the artist's greatest fan. The developer tapped Linnenbrink to drench the façade of the SLS Hotel & Residences Brickell with his signature dripping stripes of color, and at Marea in Miami Beach, the artist has created a large mural for the building's elevator lobby. Pérez's emphasis on contemporary art extends from the museum that bears his name— Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)—to the buildings he's developing. While each floor in Marea has artwork from Related Group's collection in the common areas, the lobby has been reserved for two commissioned installations: Linnenbrink's mural and perforated- metal works by Italian artist Riccardo De Marchi. Born in West Berlin, and after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1988, Linnenbrink moved to New York soon after the wall came down. Motivated by the surprises that occur during the art-making process, he has always been involved in every aspect of his craft, from mixing pigments with either oil or resin, to working with the carpenter who constructs the boards on which he paints. In describing the repetitive nature of his painting process—covering a surface with long drips of paint or excavating through paint layers to reveal annual striations—Linnenbrink correlates it to everyday life. "They are really simple things, but by doing them over and over they create a complexity. And to me, it's very connected to the history of painting, where painting comes from, how it works," he says. "It's all there, and with a short glance, you just touch upon it; but the more you want to immerse yourself into it the more you can get on a journey there."

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