Fifteen minutes is enough time to discover that Markus Linnenbrink’s paintings combine muscular methodology with a fondness for glitter and droll humor.
By Johnny Ray Huston
Fifteen minutes with Markus Linnenbrink? Well, I didn’t say no – and didn’t regret spending that amount of time and a bit more with his wall painting, epoxy resin paintings, and sculpture at Patricia Sweetow Gallery. Though slick on the surface, with a lively sense of color that exposes the rote and drab quality of some Bay Area work, on closer examination the German Linnenbrink’s paintings possess candy cane sickliness. The queasy factor is only magnified by the suspended drops of paint that hang from the bottom of some works, or, in the case of ALLESWIRDWEITERGEHNINEINPAARSEKUNDEN, by hundreds of pockmarks. (Twisting things inside out once again, these pocks are gorgeous on closer examination, resembling the interiors of porcelain saucers or cups.) The muscularity of Linnenbrink’s process – Clement Greenberg and Jackson Pollock would approve – is counterbalanced by his fondness for bits of glitter and his droll flair. Though he’s understated in comparison with Douglas Gordon when it comes to temporal commentary, his titles sometimes question whether it is the paintings or their viewers who are loitering.