The works of Mike Strauch (born in 1966) are always intensive painterly confrontations with the landscape and architecture that surround him, sometimes also imagined and composed.
On closer inspection and prolonged examination, the pictorial world emerges as a contemporary version of a lyrical, Arcadian, not always cheerful landscape painting. The visible traces of painting, such as drops, splashes, noses and colour gradients and undifferentiated parts of the picture, visualise the artist’s processual and open way of working. He does not hide, smooth or paint over but rather openly presents his work to the viewer. In this way, Mike Strauch takes us as recipients into his studio. He lets us have a look as he works and lets us participate in the process of finding a motif, even though we are studying a seemingly completed work.
Landscapes are the overriding theme in Strauch’s works. Since time immemorial, the landscape and the forest have been seen as symbols of the possibility of self-renewal and of the dimension of the unknown that needs to be explored. Strauch explores seemingly unknown dimensions with his painterly, expressive odes to nature. Architectural theory understands the concept of landscape and architecture as one. Architecture is landscape, and landscape is architecture. In this light, Strauch’s pictorial cosmos with its solitary, seemingly abandoned “residential cubes” in rampant, sometimes blurred flora acquires a kind of explanation. http://www.ftn-books.com has the Schwerin publication available ( edition of only 400 copies)