‘Polylith with Monolith (of Verticals)’, 2021,
olie en pigment op linnen, acryl op glas,
490 x 700 x 600 cm

For this installation Donald Schenkel developed his earlier forms of the vertical gradient further. Complex and colorful transitions give way to a gradient with more calm and hazy hues. It has an inherent consistency in the construction of the gradient that includes certain lanes, while there is also a play in the breadth of certain colors. In this way, some sections can be considered fields of color and others more like shimmering lines. Each canvas touches a color at the edge that seems to be the starting point for the next canvas. The continuous “infinity” of the image is on the one hand interrupted and emphasized at the same time. The resulting continuous color transitions were not predetermined, but arose during the creation process. This is consistent to Donald’s working method in which the works and gradients always refer to each other in subtle and formal ways to refer to each other, creating a strong, iconic visual language emerges. Moreover, characteristic of his practice, this work shares an element of illusion in which the forms in which the gradient is presented are actually at odds with the illusory effect of depth. It is the material aspects of the object itself that determine its perception.