“I actually work like a sculptor. For my paintings, I use solid materials like wood or brass that I can stain, saw off, and shape.” –Robert Elfgen

Higgs-Boson features a new body of work by Robert Elfgen. It is the first presentation at Sprüth Magers Window, a new format that takes the art out of the gallery space and places it in a more domestic environment with wood-paneled walls, while also offering the chance to experience the exhibition from the street. Elfgen’s mystical paintings of landscapes and mythical creatures as well as objects from his studio transform Window into a “Wunderkammer”, a spatial work of art that addresses man’s relationship to the world and our existence in its entity.

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
134 × 193 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/4 × 76 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
134 × 193 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/4 × 76 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
134 × 193 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/4 × 76 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Myen, 2021 (detail)

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The exhibition title refers to the Higgs boson, an elementary particle detected just a few years ago using complex experiments. Also known as the “God particle” it only becomes visible for a fleeting moment before it breaks down and disappears. Its discovery was a watershed moment in the field of elementary physics, as the particle had long been one of the last, unknown building blocks of matter. It is closely tied to the Big Bang and is key to understanding how mass materializes.

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
181 × 157 × 4 cm (framed)
71 1/4 × 61 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

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Elfgen’s new works have a meaningful connection with the title. They are reminiscent of 19th-century Romantic landscapes in which the artists evoked a kind of painting that sought to depict the divine in the earthly—and with it, the unseen in the seen. Yet a closer look at Elfgen’s new paintings reveals that they are abstractions composed of various, interacting color gradients. In this way, he uses color to manifest nature.

Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
LHC-beauty, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
181 × 157 × 4 cm (framed)
71 1/4 × 61 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
181 × 157 × 4 cm (framed)
71 1/4 × 61 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen
Müon, 2021 (installation view)

Details
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Elfgen’s new works have a meaningful connection with the title. They are reminiscent of 19th-century Romantic landscapes in which the artists evoked a kind of painting that sought to depict the divine in the earthly—and with it, the unseen in the seen. Yet a closer look at Elfgen’s new paintings reveals that they are abstractions composed of various, interacting color gradients. In this way, he uses color to manifest nature.

 

 

He applies spray paint with accents of ink; the ink introduces an element of chance to his creative process, as the interaction of these media with the surface can only be controlled up to a certain point. Wood grain visible through the color gives the works a highly tactile, painterly ductus.

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

More Views
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
180 × 133 × 4 cm (framed)
70 7/8 × 52 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

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Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
193 × 135.5 × 4 cm (framed)
76 × 53 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Lamb-Shift, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
180 × 133 × 4 cm (framed)
70 7/8 × 52 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
180 × 133 × 4 cm (framed)
70 7/8 × 52 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen
Nastrinos, 2021 (installation view)

Details
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He applies spray paint with accents of ink; the ink introduces an element of chance to his creative process, as the interaction of these media with the surface can only be controlled up to a certain point. Wood grain visible through the color gives the works a highly tactile, painterly ductus.

The material becomes the substantial creative moment of the work and part of its motif in the form of clouds in the sky or waves on the water. The images materialize. Metallic particles in the spray paint add a shiny shimmer to the surfaces and constitute yet another Higgs boson reference, as the particle also emits a split-second, visible glow just before breaking down.

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
176 × 247.5 × 4 cm (framed)
69 1/4 × 974 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

More Views
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
133 × 180 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/8 × 70 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

More Views
Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
176 × 247.5 × 4 cm (framed)
69 1/4 × 974 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
176 × 247.5 × 4 cm (framed)
69 1/4 × 974 3/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
133 × 180 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/8 × 70 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
133 × 180 × 4 cm (framed)
52 3/8 × 70 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (installation view)

Robert Elfgen
Mesonen, 2021 (installation view)

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“I like it when materials that are very specific, very concrete, become abstracted in a sculpture or painting. Like the grain in a wood panel, for example. In my landscapes, it becomes concrete in the painting as an abstract form.” –Robert Elfgen

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.4 × 54 × 3 cm (framed)
26 1/8 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

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Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.4 × 54 × 3 cm (framed)
26 1/8 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.4 × 54 × 3 cm (framed)
26 1/8 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Quarks, 2021 (detail)

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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 54 × 2.9 cm (framed)
26 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

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Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 54 × 2.9 cm (framed)
26 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 54 × 2.9 cm (framed)
26 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Pion, 2021 (detail)

Details
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New abstract landscape paintings are joined by other works by Elfgen. They show figurative elements and found objects from nature, such as animals and ferns, and combine them in an atmospherically-charged form of collage.

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Teraelektronenvolt, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
103 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
40 1/2 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
RHIC, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131 × 3.7 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 5/8 × 1 1/2 inches (framed)

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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Linac², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

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Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Teraelektronenvolt, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
103 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
40 1/2 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Teraelektronenvolt, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist’s frame
103 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
40 1/2 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Teraelektronenvolt, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Teraelektronenvolt, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
RHIC, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131 × 3.7 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 5/8 × 1 1/2 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
RHIC, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131 × 3.7 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 5/8 × 1 1/2 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
RHIC, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
RHIC, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Linac², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Linac², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 131.7 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 51 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Linac², 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Linac², 2021 (detail)

Details
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New abstract landscape paintings are joined by other works by Elfgen. They show figurative elements and found objects from nature, such as animals and ferns, and combine them in an atmospherically-charged form of collage.

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Photon, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 87 × 2.8 cm (framed)
26 × 34 1/4 × 1 inches (framed)

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The main subject of his oeuvre—the relationship between humans and nature—is thus taken up and expanded, often on a metaphysical level. Depicted animals recall fantastic mythical creatures, further underscoring the images’ mystical character.

Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Photon, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 87 × 2.8 cm (framed)
26 × 34 1/4 × 1 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
Photon, 2021
Wood, paint, metallic spray paint, epoxy, artist frame
66.3 × 87 × 2.8 cm (framed)
26 × 34 1/4 × 1 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
Photon, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
Photon, 2021 (detail)

Details
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The main subject of his oeuvre—the relationship between humans and nature—is thus taken up and expanded, often on a metaphysical level. Depicted animals recall fantastic mythical creatures, further underscoring the images’ mystical character.

Elfgen’s subject matter and materials create a cosmos in which nature and civilization intertwine. Together they show us the invisible in the visible, and enable us to see the world in a subtle, new light.

 

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
99.6 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 1/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

More Views
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

More Views
Details
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
99.6 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 1/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
99.6 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 1/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
QCD, 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021
Metallic spray paint, wood stain, ink on wood, artist's frame
100 × 132.6 × 3.6 cm (framed)
39 3/8 × 52 1/8 × 1 3/8 inches (framed)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin
Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021 (detail)

Robert Elfgen
E=mc², 2021 (detail)

Details
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Robert Elfgen – Higgs-Boson – Berlin

All installation views © Timo Ohler