"The Abstracts of Gerhard Mantz offer a sophisticated interplay of color and form. The many different shades of green tones and the skillfully placed light sources give the image an unusual depth that is further increased through the concave and convex color shadows. The viewer gains the impression of being drawn into the image; into a virtual space of color and light that extends the real space. Indeed, according to one’s point of view the depth of the work changes, creating endlessly new visual spaces. This complex interplay of color in the abstract works therefore determines the spatial effect in the image itself, just as in real space. Concrete surfaces begin to flicker through their color, they appear to escape the actual picture space and extend into real space.
In this way these abstract works, whether image or object, are ungraspable and challenge the viewer to ultimately understand the artwork as sensation. This transformation of the artwork into a sensation reduces it to its being, its essence and evokes memories or formulates a desire for utopia. The sensory orientation of the latest series of abstract works is underlined by its title. Following major perfume manufacturers, the individual images have names such as Amarige, Echo, Black Orchid or Kelly Calèche. These are names that stimulate intellectual games and associations – similar to how the scent of a perfume affects our inner life. As allegories the titles emphasize the level of abstraction in the works that is ultimately targeted at the internal energy of the image and consequently at our emotions."
Saskia Witan in the catalog „Gerhard Mantz, Les Essences de l'Abstraction“ published for the exhibition at Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt, 2011