Scientists the world over study our surrounding reality. They look afar and gather data that provide answers to such questions as who are we and where are we. Perhaps some day they will even find an answer to the question why are we.
Erno Enkenberg´s new series of paintings does not seek to answer any such questions. Instead, it portrays the process of searching and finding. With astronomy as his theme, Enkenberg depicts a series of scientists and research institutions. What comes across in the works is a sense of interest and admiration. The pictures are precise observations, and at the same time tributes. Studying and solving the riddles of the universe have traditionally been the realm of scientists and priests, while artists have interpreted their explanations, using them to create art, mostly religious in nature. Considering the predominance of the scientific view of the world today, it is natural to paint pictures of a worldview that is very different from ancient ecclesiastical paintings and biblical illustrations.
The works are created using a method that Enkenberg has been employing for the past few years. First, he constructs a three-dimensional scale model made of paper, which he photographs from several different angles. He then chooses a suitable image and uses it to paint a canvas that meticulously reproduces the aesthetics of the scale model. Enkenberg is a meticulous observer who paints what he sees. However, what he observes is not the subject, but the method of its depiction. This creates a meta-level in the works that is difficult to rationalise. It establishes a mysterious mood and depicts the subject as comprising many stages, unreal pictures of reality.
Of the two principal directions in contemporary painting, Enkenberg´s works represent the more controlled one. They neither flirt with spontaneity nor stray into expressionism. They are not a vehicle for emotional expression, but a method for elucidating ideas.
The book Erno Enkenberg - Manual, which extensively showcases his work between 2002 and 2014, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.