Roland Barth paints with screen printing tools: the screen and squeegee blade become the means of painting, a work that is also highly physical, especially when considering the large dimensions of the substrate. A screen printing mesh, the same used for printing on fabric, is laid on a piece of paper on the ground.
The screen does not undergo the pre-press emulsion process that is used to block the openings in the polyester mesh in order to create the design. Deprived of its function, the mesh becomes a sort of filter that interposes itself between the artist and the work, a totally open screen that lets the color through but stops the gaze.
In this way the act of painting becomes a process that attempts to recall the original idea, an action in motion that inevitably takes other directions, unable to count on the control of vision, react to the unexpected, absorb errors, or register the sensations and conditions of the present moment.
Everything is condensed in the movement of the colors through the screen printing mesh, how they are deposited on the substrate by the pressure of the blade and the gesture of pouring the pigment directly from the tin, with the stick for stirring the color. Meanwhile, the leftovers on the rubber spatula, after being remixed separately, can come back into play, in a tonal balance between flat backgrounds, bright fluorescent tones and chromatic mixes.
In Screenpaintings series the artist uses the screen printing mesh just once and this dynamic of reaction is concentrated in one unique operation on the screen, a blind match with the painting, without the chance to work on it further. It’s a pure gesture, that deposits color while submerging us in that dimension of short-term memory, which has lost value in the age of digital information, supplanted by electronic devices that record all data but lose the indefinable richness of shading, the casualness of the unexpected, the uniqueness of occurrences.
Roland Barth (1983, Berlin) became interested in screen printing in 2007, and since then has developed numerous collaborations with various screen printing laboratories, including Pony Pedro and Fleischeri/Czentrifuga, in parallel with his studies in Textile and Surface Design at the Weißensee Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. In 2010 he founded MehrSiebdruck, a screen printing laboratory in the Wedding district, together with other collaborations, occupying himself with both commissioned screen prints and his own projects in the field of graphic art and artist’s books. The studio has taken part in numerous exhibitions in Europe.
In 2016 his research led him to define an experimental and individual style of screen painting, which uses screen painting tools, such as the blade and mesh screen.