An excerpt from "Inner Seeing," Erich Franz's text for the exhibition Helmut Federle: The Ferner Paintings at Peter Blum Gallery, New York, on view through January 11, 2014.
Franz writes: "If one intended to classify in words that which is visible, just a few would suffice, and they would be the same for every painting: circle, canvas, vertical format. Yet one’s visual perceptions cannot be restricted to concepts. They expand, become unspecifiable, and penetrate one another. As a closed form, the circle hovers slightly above the center of the painting and transforms into something completely different, into an almost linear rotation, whose course again increasingly expands breadthwise, opens up and penetrates the immobile material of the flat canvas. All of these tensions and transitions among different perceptions take place in a special way in each painting. That which one looks at transforms into inner processes. The painting does not retain anything static. Its optical units circular form, circular course, background, material, picture surface cannot be perceived individually, but indeterminably oscillate into one another. They transform the small painting that is objectively hanging in front of the viewer’s eyes into a dynamic and unlimited experience. What the viewer sees expands if the viewer lets it into varying ideas and into a special rhythm based on the tensions between motion and stillness. This inner process, which every viewer perceives and carries out in his own way, is the actual painting."