Herbert Hamak’s artwork falls somewhere between painting and sculpture and springs from a combination of form, color, and light. Herbert Hamak works with pigment and mass; he shapes and molds them into simple forms that are mostly monochromatic, such as cubes, parallelogram, and columns.
His method for creating these forms results from his expertise in mixing pigments with resin and wax. This liquid substance is molded on a conventionally constructed canvas, which provides structure for it. Even though his method mandates the perfect mastering of the medium, the artist allows serendipity every opportunity to intervene: chance causes bubbles and distortions during the drying process and the exterior conditions alter the pigment colors. Thus, nothing is ever entirely controlled in Hamak’s work; repeating the same actions would produce different results.
Starting with the 300 or so pigments present in nature, Hamak plays with both the physical properties that allow color to appear to the eye and also with the diverse aesthetic mediums that enable color to attract our eyes. Since color results from a complex chemical process, Hamak’s works focus on color as both a physical material and as a property that reflects light. Because the color is imprissoned in a translucid material, it can interact with the surrounding light. Surfaces of paintings normally relect light, but Hamak’s paintings allows light to penetrate them. Light passes through the paintings, endowing them with a vaporous aspect that belies the true weight and mass of the object.
For this new solo exhibition at the Xippas Gallery, Herbert Hamak shows a group of “paintings” that are in harmony with their environment. First they capture the light that surrounds them and then they reflect the light in order to invade the space, creating an interplay of influences. Instead of simply seeing a color, here, we feel it.
Herbert Hamak was born in 1952 in Unterfranken in Bavaria. His work has been regularly shown in numerous galeries, including Tanit Gallery in Munich (since 1990), Studio la Citta in Italy, the Tanja Rumpff Gallery in Holland, Kenji Taki in Japan, and Christopher Grimes Gallery in the United States. The Xippas Gallery displayed his work for the first time in 1991 during the exhibition The Painted Desert organized by Bob Nickas.
The Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany, dedicated a solo exhibition to him in 2010. Likewise, he has had solo shows at the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona in 2007 where he presented a majestic installation that directly engaged the castle’s architecture; at the Flash Art Museum in Trevi, Italy, in 2005; and the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart in 1996. The Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt dedicated two solo shows in 1993 and also in 1998.
His works are part of the following illustrious collections: the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main; the Kunsthalle in Mannheim, Germany; the Technische Hocheschule in Frankfurt; the Daimler Chrysler Collection in Switzerland; the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy; and the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany.