Markus Linnenbrink

May 1, 2003 - January 31, 2004


Markus Linnenbrink uses dry pigment, water, and an acrylic binder to paint bright parallel swaths of color on varying surfaces including canvas, floors, ceilings, and walls. He allows the paint to dribble and run in response to gravity, creating an uneven grid-like pattern of broad stripes and thin rivulets, highlighting the energy and atmosphere of the rooms they occupy. The large, site-specific work for the Hammer Museum’s Lobby Wall Linnenbrink created in May 2003, surrounds and submerges viewers in his painting.

Organized by James Elaine, curator of Hammer Projects.

Markus Linnenbrink

By Dominique Nahas


It is in the nature of stripes that they move things, says Markus Linnenbrink. By this remark he suggests that stripes form dynamic paths on and through which the eye can travel quickly. Typically stripes squeeze distractions out of space. Linnenbrink's artwork consists of stacked and layered colored lines that extend, ideally, forever in time and space. His stripes are hardly commonplace, however, and his implication of inexorable linearity is far from removed from our own subjective reality. We walk through his animated work as much as we come across it. We are immersed within the work as it surrounds us, denying Euclidean emptiness and irreversibility. As we are in it, we are in a layered environment that stretches and saturates. The work is simultaneously luminous, pulsating, and modulated. As we move along with its intensity, we are allowed, equally, to drift with it as well, carried along by its insistent lateral flows and downward drips. His gestural work of parallel bars asks us to consider the narrative implications of the works own making: its beginning, middle, and end and the layered and interstitial points that lie in between. In his wall painting for the UCLA Hammer Museum's lobby, the artist also considers our experience of making physical headway through the museum's open and closed spaces, through its corridors, entryways, passageways, and stairway. In dealing so adeptly with the constraints of architecture, Linnenbrink's artwork implicates social and architectual space and our customary ways of moving through it.


Linnenbrink uses dry pigment, water, and an acrylic binder to explore transparency, contrast, and consistency of paint while experimenting and responding in seemingly organic and intuitive ways to the particular environment and circumstances of a site. If his is abstracted, universalized space, it is also incongruously emotional, far from removed. The work is persuasive because the scale of the artist's striving is intensely personal. While enveloped in his brand of allover painting, it is hard for the viewer not towithdraw from the aggressive insinuation of horizon lines, laid over one another in quick succession. If Linnenbrink's are internal or subliminal landscapes, it's also certain that they aren't predicated on any particular pointof view but instead rely on multiple viewpoints on the part of the maker and viewer. These latticelike spaces are realized from places and paths of experience. In Linnenbrink's art one feels and enriched perception that life-world experience is a function of change and unpredictability within and illusion of order. More

Dominique Nahas is an indepdent curator and critic based in Manhattan.


Hammer Projects are made possible with support from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and members of the Hammer Circle.

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