Benedikt Gahl focuses not on the result, but on the painting process. It begins with a feeling or an experience, which gradually takes shape in an expressive working process on the picture support. In the process, a dynamic is released that extends far beyond the edge of the picture carrier. In individual applications of paint, Gahl composes the picture collage-like from back to front. Depth of image is not created centrally-perspectively, but through the interplay of impasto and thin application of paint. While the paint is often applied so thickly that individual brushstrokes virtually press themselves into it, thin areas of color in other places reveal the many deeper layers.
Oil painting is one of the constants in the artist’s work. In it, he explores the autonomy of color, which acts freely from the object. For even if some of his works betray landscape or figurative references, the figure rather serves him as a pretext. A complexity without subordination gives rise to works that captivate the viewer. One loses oneself in oval shapes, curved lines, and sharp accents that gradually find their place on the picture support. Individual nuances of color and shading become visible primarily up close, while color relationships only reveal themselves from a greater distance. Form, color, and style themselves form the pictorial theme. The most difficult process is that of finding out when a painting is complete. For even if the artist has put the work aside, it can be brought out again months later. Each work is in an intermediate state.
Rather than being guided by outside preferences, the artist is concerned with listening within. Individual works become quotations of past states of mind, legible only to himself. Art becomes a private cosmos.