In works like «Sunrise», «Bambushain» and «Night Lights», Sebastian Heiner depicts a shift of focus toward Asiatic culture, an a process of engagement with it.

If both the subjects and the titles of paintings like «Bambushain» and «Wusheng-Warrior in Beijing Opera» suggest traditional China, «Night Lights» shows Peking as a bustling modern metropolis. Neon signs, adverts and a sensory overload of light are shown by the powerful, intense colours.

The painting techniques Heiner uses in his works are equally varied. Whereas the figures in his early works look like oddly-proportioned sculptures rendered two-dimensionally,

Heiner later began to experiment with size relationships. In works like «Puck» and «Wusheng-Warrior in Beijing Opera», the subjects depicted are largely painted-over or blurred, making them indistinguishable form the painting’s background. This gives the pictures a pronounced sense of depth, speed and three-dimensionality.

The results of autonomous painting as practiced by Sebastian Heiner – guided by materials and mood – are abstract colour constructs, plastic images applied to the canvas using highly unconventional tools e. g. brushwood brooms or the artist’s own body.

Dr. Kathrin Hatesaul
museum FLUXUS+, Potsdam
April 2009
(Translation: Michael Robinson)