Herbert Hamàk (born in 1952 and living in Hammelburg) is an artist intensively concerned with the problematics of the history of painting; he is especially preoccupied with questions raised by a type of painting based solely on the investigation of colours. The possibilities of transforming colour into colour space, as developed by Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, for example, are the points of departure for his painting, as is his focus on the significance of colour mass. This has led to the a very own technique in which paint is no longer applied with a brush, but poured using a specially developed binder, which gradually coagulates the colour substance: a mechanical process of creation, so to speak, the results of which are not fully predictable.

The peculiar phenomenology of Hamàk's pictures is a result of the interplay between opacity and transparency of the colour masses. It is perhaps precisely there where the colour substance takes on the form of a solid body after hardening to blocks that the effects of coloured depth light are most apparent: while the surfaces of the panels contract, as it were, the light of the colours radiantly billows at the edges. This gives the pictures a buoyant character despite the actual heaviness of their material.

Herbert Hamàk created six large-formatted panels specially for his presentation at Portikus, turning the room into a space for contemplating on unprecedented colour phenomena.

Photos: Katrin Schilling