not quite as clear


Oil on canvas

244 × 213.7 cm (96 1/16 × 84 1/8 in.)

In a frenzy of red, a spindly, angular, and tormented figure unrolls a white cloth, a bandage as long as a scarf and as light as a cotton cheesecloth. The cloth, which is stretched out across half the surface of the painting before falling back to the ground, shimmers transparently with the thick, almost sticky organic red that seems to bubble up all around the figure. The fabric becomes stained with blood when it encounters the hands and the torso. In the upper third, on a more muted red layer in the background, a black line crosses the width of the canvas and demarcates a wall and the angle it forms with the ground. The man's attention to his work, his face lowered towards it, removes him from the strict face-to-face confrontation that the foreground and the scale of the painting call for.

Florian Krewer (b. 1986) draws inspiration from photographs of his relatives, taken in their urban environment, to represent these young men in large-scale paintings. But the particular attention that this artist pays to the monumentality of the figures, the colours, and the effects of matter, are reminiscent of those of his elder and friend Peter Doig. The simplification of the bodies transforms these modern-day silhouettes into universal, expressionist, strange, and disturbing figures, animated by an extraordinary energy.

If the power of painting is to embody, Florian Krewer reveals its mystery when his entire canvases become flesh and raw colours, contested with the dark night or red-hot with anger. Urban scenes, brawls, battles, in which the stalker, the accomplice, and the victim merge.