Guy Diehl
Malevich and The Moderns, 2006
pigmented inkjet on Hahnemühle
16.72 x 23.5 in.
edition of 30

Guy Diehl’s latest collaboration with Magnolia Editions finds the artist harnessing computer technology to compose his spare, lyrical still lifes, using digital layers to impart a powerful depth and textural complexity to two editions of pigmented inkjet prints. Diehl’s commitment to “the simplicity…[and] purity of the object” drives his creative decisions: set against a shadowy, unassuming ground and shot through with a raking light borrowed from Carravagio, the luminous surfaces and linear intersections of Diehl’s objects take center stage. To create Malevich and the Moderns, a paean to modernism, Diehl re-photographed the arrangement upon which his original painting was based and used this photograph to engineer a new composition. Reflections of the books were added to impart a greater sense of three-dimensional space; a texture which the artist had drawn on mylar for an earlier lithography project was also scanned and incorporated to achieve subtle tonal effects belonging more to the realm of printmaking than to painted canvas. Diehl sees this digital manipulation as “the next evolutionary stage in image-making” – having mastered the technical and compositional aspects of the still life painter’s craft, he has begun to experiment and play with the possibilities of digital printmaking. One need look no further for proof of Diehl’s mastery than the silent partnership in Malevich and the Moderns between a page reproducing Malevich’s Black Circle and the envelope which sits atop the stack of books. Parallel gradients of light and shadow spill across both surfaces, over which the richly contrasting geometry of Malevich’s circle and the brilliant white triangle formed by the envelope’s flap play a subtle duet. -Nick Stone