The title of Fabian Treiber’s present exhibition at Galerie Mark Müller already provokes a short moment of irritation; «body doesn’t know». It feels like there is something missing. Our consciousness has the urge to complete the word fragment, perhaps with an article. Simultaneously, the detection of an alleged blank leads to the question of what we intend to be reading, what sort of completion it is that we seek, what it takes for something to be valid.

Through this initial irritation, Fabian Treiber leads a way to accessing his work, which addresses these questions on a pictorial level. The artist dedicates himself to the difficult, because almost paradox task, to combine abstract and representational image elements in a way, that leaves them hovering in a state of ambiguity.

The appearing archaic forms and silhouettes can turn into many things in the eye of the viewer. An added oval, air-brushed line may turn the lucid-blue truncated cone into a vessel, maybe even a water glass, and the brushstrokes leading away from it become plant stalks. The large underlying square in impasto style converts into a table and matching tablecloth. From these abstract forms arises, due to their relationship amongst each other and the addition of the spectator, a peculiar still life.

Yet, the individual forms and material qualities do not stick to the signification they just gained in the context of a singular painting; the thickened acrylic paint coat with its grooved structure, that only just imitated the textile feel of a table cloth in the painting «Cover», reappears as the ceramic glaze of a pot in the work «Cocktail Table»; the exact outlines of a table leg in one picture reoccur as the shape of a bottle in the next one.

Their recognisability leads the viewer to draw conclusions regarding the identity of the motifs. He or she wants to assign them as something known. But each of Treiber’s paintings establishes the tension between the incomplete and the outright, between the unambiguous and the intangible anew, in themselves and in kinship to the others. Our urge for completion is undermined. Treiber manages to place only so many visual clues into his compositions to make us believe, we are about to track down the mystery of a subject's identity, only to withdraw the decisive indication with yet another, skilfully placed cross-reference.