Maximilian Daniels


PIERMARQ* asked Maximilian Daniels a few questions about his processes, inspirations, and what to expect from his solo show The Time Between, which opens on the 6th of March. 

 To those who may be new to viewing your art, can you describe your practice and conceptual concerns?

Maximilian Daniels: My practice involves the layering of transparent oil paint. As the layers develop, the colours change depending on which overlap, similar to looking through layers of stained glass or coloured cellophane. This process allows me to build rich colours and gives the paint a unique optical effect. The technique is similar to the traditional technique of ‘glazing’ used by Renaissance painters to create areas of contrast and detail.

My conceptual concern is primarily the qualities of light. It is something so broad and omnipresent that there are many subtle aspects to it that interest me. Some qualities are reflections, colour (spectrum), shadow, atmospheric light, and translucency. I then attempt to capture or convey these experiences of light through my paintings.

P*: What can we expect from your upcoming solo exhibition ‘The Time Between’
MD: ‘The Time Between’ focuses on times that are transitional. By this I mean the times where change happens in light and atmosphere due to the time of day – early in the morning as the sun is rising and in the evening as the sun sets. These times are fleeting compared to the more consistent qualities that characterise the middle of the day and the night. They link the times that make up the majority of our existence.

The palette I have used in ‘The Time Between’ captures the feeling that natural light has during these transient times of day. The deep saturated tones and colours in the paintings convey a feeling of dusk or dawn where the landscape is faded, subdued and sleepy.

Also objects begin to lose their sharp focus, recede and disappear or come forward from the darkness. Marks have been made at times during the making of the work that then become buried under the layers of paint, much as they do in our environment/s during these transient times.

P*: In preparation for this show, you’ve started working collaboratively and with new technologies, can you describe how this has altered your practice?
MD: I have begun the process of 3D printing large scale brushes to make marks in one continuous stroke over a large area. This process is unfortunately in the testing stage and will not make up a significant part of this exhibition.

P*: What is your jumping off point with a new painting?
MD I take in my surroundings in my outdoor studio space, taking note of the light and time of day and use whatever comes to my head after that to make my first marks on the work. Often my inspiration comes from a distorted reflection of the space in the large floor to ceilings windows that surround it. Sometimes I will apply some direct marks with very liquid transparent paint impulsively and quickly to the surface. Other times I will lay down a flat transparent wash and block a large area/areas of the canvas. 

P*: You’re very fastidious about framing – to what end is the frame part of the work to you? 
MD: It is important to me that my hand is involved in making the frame in my work because it has direct impact on the aesthetic and material processes involved in the work. In my personal philosophy the frame is part of the work and not separate therefore it is important to me that I make the frame... at least for now.

P*: Is the main source of inspiration for this body of work still the relationship between light and glass?
MD: Light, specifically natural light in an atmospheric sense will always been a main concern in my practice. Glass is also still a concern in my practice and as a memetic tool is particularly relatable to the ideas that I am looking at in my work. It is transparent, reflective and joins inside and outside spaces, so it is quite poignant as a metaphor for understanding how I come to the compositions in my work.

P*: Has becoming a new parent changed your perspective on art making? 
MD: Not in a conceptual or philosophical way but I do seem to have a lot less time!


'The Time Between' 
6th - 22nd March

Art Month opening: Friday 6th March, 6-8pm
Official opening: Thursday 12th March, 6-8pm
Artist talk: Saturday 14th March, 3-4pm

6 March 2020