O man! Beware!
What does deep midnight thus declare?
“I slept, I slept
From deepest dreams I woke, and there:
The world is deep
And deeper than the day can bear
Deep is its woe
Lust – deeper still than misery
Woe says: forego!
But all lust wants eternity
‐wants deepest, deep eternity!”
In Zarathustra's roundelay, a poem in the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche marvelously expresses the limitation of human cognition and our simultaneously ‐ or maybe exactly for that reason ‐ existing longing for emotion and eternity.
Looking at the painted objects of German painter Dirk Salz, we feel an almost perfect match with this poem. The multi-layered works of resin and wood, comprise an illusionary depth, evoking the feeling of gazing into a lake, and in vain ‐ trying to discover the ground.
By creating phenomena of light, color, and space, Salz intentionally triggers ambiguous views that indeed provokes an emotional wish for eternity Dirk Salz sees himself as a painter first and a sculptor second. However, his work imbues a tension between the two – embracing a dichotomy between the visual and spatial fields. Forgoing the figural, the pieces themselves are paradoxical objects and reflections. They position the viewer within the work. Salz’s carefully laid resin paintings result from a laborious process of pouring, smoothing, masking, and polishing to achieve something built up by hand and machine labor. Yet for all their construction, they create a mirrored veil of the world around them. Surface and depth lie at the heart of Salz’s work. Thus, he creates his work pieces horizontally, yet viewers experience them vertically.
Dirk Salz was born in Bochum and lives and works in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. He studied at RWTH Aachen University, where he received his strong background in materials and craft. Recent solo exhibitions include Tief unter den wassern das grünende feld (Deep beneath the Waters the green field) at Galerie Frey in Salzberg, Austria, allzeit wache Möglichkeiten (always awake possibilities) at Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany, and But all joy wants eternity, Victor Lope Arte Contemporáneo, Barcelona, Spain, amongst many others. Salz’s work has been featured at the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany, and Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg, Germany – of which he is part of the permanent collection. Salz also received the 2021 Ruhr Prize for Art & Science.