Nico Mares


*1977 in Düsseldorf
2000–2009 Kunstakademie Münster, master class Prof. Guillaume Bijl
2010–2014 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, master class Prof, Siegfried Anzinger
  Lives and works in Düsseldorf

Solo exhibitions

2016 Nico Mares – Farbe, Galerie LOOF, Jubbega (The Netherlands)

Group exhibitions

2017 Drawing Festival, Art District_P, Busan (South Korea)
  Finish Starting, Art District_P, Busan (South Korea)
  The void space and peacock tail , Leeyeonju Gallery, Busan (South Korea)
  Nico Mares -The Berlin Show, Solo Show, THE ART SCOUTS Galerie, Berlin
  Nico Mares - nCloud, Solo Show, Galerie ART & SPACE, München
2016 Summer Group Show, Galerie Heinz Holtmann, Köln
  Die Grosse 2016 Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
  Abstract Strategies, Boeckercontemporary, Heidelberg
2015 Kunst für Obdach, Eon, Düsseldorf
  Abstract Strategies, Mirta Demare ruimte voor actuele kunst, Rotterdam, Niederlande
  summer group show Galerie Heinz Holtmann, Köln
  Abstract Strategies, Poiesis Spec, Berlin
  Abstract Strategies, Martina Kaiser Cologne Contemporary Art, Köln
  acht maler und Galerie Christine Hölz, Düsseldorf
  Die Grosse 2015 Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
  Abstract Strategies Galerie Schütte, Essen
2014 Abstract Strategies Kunstraum „Bespoke“ Düsseldorf
  Nico Mares, Galerie Kramer, Bremen
  Focus on young artists, Galerie Heinz Holtmann,Köln


Contradictory beauties from success seeking failure desire

Usually in our time man goes to work and is told what to do, what to do. From the last in the chain up to the chairman/chairwoman of the board, the "...doing in function of..." Link in link. And the members of the supervisory board, and in turn the shareholders, issue instructions to the executive board, which in turn cites economic or global interests as the motive force behind its directives. This way of existence can be called "alienated". It contains the inestimable advantage that the profound question of existence, which qualitatively distinguishes humans from other living beings, but also irritates them, hardly or at least rarely arises in the predetermined everyday life.

It is completely different - at least potentially - with the artist. He wakes up, and no one tells him what to do. He goes into the studio, and no one tells him what to do. He stands before the empty canvas, and no order exists as to what is to be painted. He works, although no order books are filled - he creates out of himself, he creates out of a resource that belongs to him alone. And so he reminds us "others" of what is potentially in us west, what is given to us, what, however, all too often decays self-deadened.

In medieval book painting, the monks were still depicted with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove whispering to them what they had to write down. Markus Lüpertz places the genius in the back of his Beethoven, who gives him, the human being, the ingenious, titanic, i.e. superhuman compositions. And Sigmar Polkes captured the same circumstance in the phrase: "Higher beings ordered: paint the upper right corner black!"

Nico Mares fights over this everyday contradiction of the artist every day. And his paintings reveal, even celebrate andsublimate this. For him there is (still) no order, hardly any market and still far too little demand... Only the inner motivation exists - the one to paint pictures out of oneself; the one to express oneself; the one to communicate; the one to do something strange for us; the one to do something valid; the one to bring forth something beyond the day: the one to transform a materially simple canvas with buyable colors into a being that makes the viewer forget that he is only in front of a mere canvas with bound color pigments. With each of his works, which he considers valid, Nico Mares manages to make the viewer find himself in front of a picture that presents him with a strange, unknown world, one that is aesthetically valid but still too experienced.

And Nico Mares elevates this attitude to one of his central motifs. Every picture of his can be seen as having a pictorial idea that he is trying to realize. Each picture has the dimension that he has an inner idea, which he expresses in order to present it to us - but also that his idea remains unattainable in our world, so that he always gives us "only" approximations to experience. Every picture therefore can be understood as a something which would like to approach a nucleus, but can never reach it like an electron in the Niels Bohr atomic model, because the respective energies command insurmountable distances.

And that is good. For if the idea of picture and painting could in fact be approached through pictures and paintings to the point of non-distance to their respective absolute idea, if the aspired summit could really be climbed, the essentially Sisyphean enterprise of art would be ended - that of repeatedly asking questions to which answers already exist, but which are not recognized as such because they are not asked. Consequently, every artist wrestles on and on - and that well knowing to always fail, unless he recognizes that his respective failure is the ultimate goal.

If we see the pictures of Nico Mares under this horizon, if we understand them as a respective question for absolute, consequently unknown answers, we are faced with an infinitely rich variance of questions. Do forms determine a picture or colors? Is there a need for an idea of form or does the color determine the form? Are there forms without colors and colors without forms? Is it forms against or with forms that create tension or balance, or is it colors against or with forms? Does a picture have to be pondered or just not, does it have to appear finito or aperto....?????

Each of Nico Mares' paintings is imbued with precisely this certain perplexity, this joy in risk or the burden of failure. Each is open, because there is no closed. Each is both color and form and never either color or balance. Each is abruptly finalized and at the same time unbalancedly pondered - each contradictorily beautiful!

The artist is not infrequently found perplexedly secure in his studio, doubtfully confirmed, successfully joyful of failure, clearly undecided and at the same time resolutely confused and restlessly at rest. These moods are inherent to each of his paintings and determine their presence and quality - a quality of innovation addiction, which is unfortunately alien to almost all alienated existences, because they ignore or suppress the all-present existential question. Every picture of Nico Mares, however, presents us with this ignoring and repressing as a dilemma like a mirror - and reminds us to step into the mirror without destroying it, reminds us to recognize the dilemma as a dilemma, knowing full well that we will ultimately not be able to grasp it, because it presupposes a desire for failure that we believe we cannot afford. Nico Mares, however, affords it - and presents us his exhausted pictures as aesthetically beguiling results!

Raimund Stecker