After finishing and publishing his second novel in 2018, Manuel returned to creating paintings in 2019. He painted dance, bird and abstract paintings. His abstract emotional paintings were a step back to his roots. Back then he painted and exhibited mostly such paintings.
Besides the work in his art studio Manuel continued his studies BSc in business administration at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
2019 Manuel Süess created 17 paintings. His artworks were shown in his art studio to interested visitors and clients.
➙ Order work catalog 2019 as PDF
I created my Text+Paint=Work series in 2012 based on my experiences with my own exhibitions and the way art is presented in media.
At exhibitions and in media paintings are often shown without context and explanation. But often it is the context or the artist’s message behind the painting that make the artwork complete and understandable. In exhibitions you’ll often see those little cards with just the name of the painting on it. That was annoying me. Consequently, I developed the Text+Paint=Work series.
I decided to first write the meaning of the paintings onto the wood (2012) or the canvas (2013-2014). Afterwards I painted my painting on top of its written meaning. While painting I took care that parts of the written text still were readable afterwards. I wanted that the viewers get curious and see that my paintings are more than just strong colours on a canvas.
The paintings of my Text+Paint=Work series have been shown at many exhibitions. For example in Basel, Meilen and Vienna. In 2013 I created my first dance paintings thanks to a lucky coincident while creating a Text+Paint=Work painting. Later, in 2014 my dance paintings replaced the Text+Paint=Work series.
Both of my paintings «Die Erdnuss» (The Peanut) and «abstrakter Apfel» (Abstract Apple) from 2013 were inspired by Cézanne. Back in 2013, I worked in the context of my civilian service duty at the museum Langmatt in Baden, Switzerland. Each day I passed by at a little display case with very little apple still lifes of Cézanne. Each of those very little paintings are probably (still) more worth than all my own paintings together.
These daily encounters inspired me to paint my own still lifes. But they shouldn't be impressionistic still lifes like Cézanne’s. I wanted to create abstract still lifes. And second they shouldn’t be small. I wanted them to be big and bold, so they would get far more valuable than Cézanne’s apples. I learned later; size doesn’t matter that much in the art business. It’s far more important that a viewer likes the emotions he feels when viewing a painting.
First, I painted my abstract apple with acrylics on a stretched canvas in the size of 100x100cm. The big apple is accompanied by a curious and hungry little worm. My apple painting was even part of my second exhibition in Vienna in 2013. A bit later I painted my peanut. I painted it also with acrylics on a stretched canvas in the size of 100x70cm. My abstract peanut painting was shown at my exhibition in Meilen, that’s near Zurich, which took place in 2014.
Both paintings are part of my work series «Text+Paint=Work» which I will gladly introduce to you in a future blog post.
My painting no. 345 innere Stärke (2011) was one of the five paintings of my Shanghai art fair 2011 collection. Later, in 2012, it was also presented at my exhibition «Emotions» in Vienna. «Innere Stärke» is German and means inner strength.
I painted this painting with acrylics on bamboo. The bamboo plate is two centimetres strong and measures 120x90cm. It weights about 20kg and is one of my heaviest paintings. I even was able to stand and knee on it while painting. Additionally, I used two centimetres strong aluminium painting hangers on the back. This assures that the painting seems to float in front of the wall if you look at it from the right direction. As it is a quite big painting, it needs a lot of space. A viewer should stand with some metres of distance of the painting while viewing it to be able to truly feel its emotional expression.
As you may noticed by reading its title, the painting’s topic is inner strength. Inner strength is needed by everyone of us to pass through the exams of everyday life. It also helps in difficult situations as well as to stand up again after failure stroke you down. Nonetheless, it isn’t wrong to let others help you every now and then.
My abstract, expressive paintings are back. My new abstract pieces celebrate the rebirth of my old painting series «Emotions» and are called «Abstract Emotions».
Like most of us I created my first abstract art when I was a sweet little baby. Probably with chocolate in my own face. Many years passed since then. In 2008 I started to number my paintings. In 2009 I created my first abstract painting on wood. It was my painting number 6. Until 2012 I painted mostly on wood. I used nearly every piece of wood I could find or cheaply buy. I loved its structure and versatility. Back in 2009 I didn’t think about work series. I just painted as I liked, mostly abstract and emotional themes. During that year I painted more than 200 painting and applied for about the same amount of jobs.
Later, after I founded my own art company, I started to sort my paintings into series. The series «Emotions» formed the bucket for all my abstract, expressive and therefore emotional paintings. Many of them were shown at exhibitions in Switzerland, Vienna and Shanghai. 2013 I changed my painting medium from wood to canvas. That change was also the beginning of the end of my series «Emotions». It got replaced by my new work series «Text+Paint=Work». Paintings of which I was able to show internationally at exhibitions, too.
My abstract, emotional paintings are back.
2019 marked the year of the return of my abstract, expressive paintings. After an about a yearlong painting break during which I not only rethought my dance paintings but also noticed that I missed my wild, expressive, emotional paintings that led room for boundless experimentations. But as it is with emotions, those paintings do not only express happy thoughts but can also have a quite deep and thoughtful meaning.
My painting no. 826 Hoffnung (2019), Hoffnung is German and means hope, illustrates the everlasting emotional fight between hope for a better future and all the obstructions of everyday life.
The adventurer in the centre of the painting wants to get a grip on his life and tries everything to build a better tomorrow. The thorns and tendrils that were modelled with black modelling paste onto the canvas try even as hard to catch and stop him. But the battle-hardened knight doesn’t give up that easy. Cuts and scratches won’t stop him. His hope is that strong and the light inside of him is shining that bright.
This painting marks also the beginning of my new work series «abstract emotions» which picks up my early series « emotions» that I abandoned in 2013 and completes my artistic work with a completely abstract painting series.
My garden sculptures are standing in the snow. Guarding their little fir. Wait a minute. Did it already snow around Lucerne? No. Not yet. I took this picture last winter in January 2019.
My garden sculptures are made from cherry laurels. After I moved in in my current flat and art studio, I cut a lot of them down as I am also responsible for the garden and as I don't like cherry laurels. I cut most of them into small piece to use their wood for future barbecues. But I liked the structure of two of them and kept them whole.
Someday, I had the idea to flip them around onto their branches, stepped back and was surprised. They looked like a wooden couple. So, they became my spare time project. Some of their branches had to be cut and the man with the broom in his hand wished to get some nicer clothing. I respected his wish and carved some new clothes out of his wood.
Nowadays they are standing and living in my garden. Mostly just standing. They promised to help with the garden work. But so far, I had done most by myself. They always claim that they are tired from digging the weeds.
Babykauz is one of my dearest paintings. Therefore, it is no surprise that he was the reason I created the price cathegory “Babykauz & Friends” which consists only of paintings that are important to me for some reason. If you want to buy one of them, you'll need deep pockets. Each one costs twenty thousand swiss francs. I don’t care if you can’t afford it as if you can’t pay the price, I gladly keep those paintings for myself :).
Babykauz was one of my first bird paintings. I painted him back in 2009. Back then I painted just for fun as I didn’t become a professional artist until 2011. I still enjoy painting for sure, but you may know what I mean as at the beginning painting felt quite different when I started to try to make a living out of it. Now then, back to my dear Babykauz. I painted him with blue acrylic lacquer on plywood. Acrylic lacquer is quite different than traditional acrylic paint for painting paintings. You use it normally for painting wooden furniture, window frames, garden fences and all kinds of home-made wooden things. But back in 2009 I painted most of my paintings with it. I liked it and I didn’t care that you normally don’t use it for painting paintings.
In my previous art studio in Rheinfelden Babykauz was presented for many years at a well visible spot. Currently he is sleeping in a box. Recharging for future activities. He was often admired by visitors. When I mentioned the price, they mostly immediately understood his worth. Who couldn’t? So adorable and amicable he is. My sweet little baby owl.