I like my painting called narrative abstraction.
Representational work and its degrees of realism require a lot of discipline making many abstract painters appear lazy. Ironic that non-objective painting arrives to the really real, to a found object without any other identity than the materials of construction, the surface upon which the art has been realized, and the realization that art is an object like any other gathering dust. Because art is an opened-ended proposition the way for the abuse of art as a concept is broadening. Because no one can say what art is, a gallery can sell a foam pad for a lot more than the exact same from an upholstery shop, but honestly, don’t we all know art when we see it? The breakaway abstraction of the composition and components give the strength to the painting regardless the strength of subject matter. Any representational painting can be abstract and any abstract painting can be representational. Non-objective painters believe the likeness of a queen in her old-fashioned corsets cannot be compared to the timeless virtue of a square. Subject matter provides a starting place for the comprehension of a painting. Personally, I would rather go to bed with the imagination of a surrealist than with that of a square. I am particularly not speaking of beauty in art for which we have a collective but not particular notion. We have representations for beauty, but then we change our minds. Abstract painting leaves off the particular, moves away from identifiable subject matter to the non-specific. In defense, the abstract painter will then speak of the finest feelings that cannot be identified, should not be attached to a person, place or thing, as an open ended concept befitting the large category we speak of when we speak of a work of art. Abstraction fails as a pure and open-ended concept or in other words as something that cannot be exactly defined, as feelings cannot be exactly defined, when it becomes a thing on the wall to be dusted. Abstraction was meant to be an idea without concept, a feeling without words, image without association, an indescribable force, a law of nature, nature itself. But since hardly anything represents a closed concept more than a square, representation is unavoidable. We would have to transcend the physical to the metaphysical to have freedom from association.
Originally, Abstraction was to be idea without concept. Kind regards, Rebecca
For the catalog of Agnes Schwägerl:
Seldom does Agnes imitate that most immediate to sight. There are few, if any details. There is never a strong source of light, almost never a shadow. Color spectrum is reduced to largely monochromatic application startled here and there by occasional splinters of complimentary hue. Open areas expressive of spatial depth are left nearly blank. Elements are distilled to utter simplicity. Space defined by marching trees, locks into step with the concrete objectivity of color applied in layers, once dark and scabrous, once delicate and fleeting. Unexpected luminescence hovers near a limb as though striking the encrusted canvas caused a spark. Points of sun in somber skies focus our attention on the indefinite center of an absorbent background. The space is the exponent of silence. Intermediate planes physically attached to the surface in some, segregated by color in others span voids to objects rarely poised in perspective. We are alone and we are stripped as trees for coming winter. A single stroke glides from weight of the supporting trunk to fragile tips of furthermost branches of a tree every bit as resonant of life as a human figure. Like a leafless soul, nothing presents impediment to the subject. Expressive of form and its gestation, intuitively derived shudders and waves of the painted surfaces reveal something beyond vision beyond perception. The final appearance seems effortless. Rapid strokes establish position of rendered elements, knowledge of that essential to chosen elements establishes selection and a heart establishes the hand in them. The heart and the hand are inseparable. The paintings possess the ease of paintings that paint themselves. Technical proficiency, receptivity to fundamental features, reflectivity on motivation is a part of the process. Extension to limits of imagination and spatial depth are immeasurable, but the freedom is ours. The paintings are defined by adherence to parameters unearthed as Agnes responds to her bared truths. Even as we find transport in them away from our surrounding, out of the gallery space, out of our offices, our homes where they collect, out from pages of this catalog, we notice how strangely out of place the paintings seem to be. Viewing the paintings for the first time or privileged to have known the work some years, the aspect most felt is abiding of deeper contemplation. Did I not just cross this somber, lonely meadow? Did I not just salute this bereaved tree? Was I not just there or are these grieving compositions actually conversions of my own fragmentary dreams? Dear Agnes, your paintings are irreconcilable to location anywhere outside introspection.
For the catalog of Brigitte Chaloupka:
Brigitte handles her pictorial elements casually, letting them fall where they may atop her painting panels. Falling makes a world of sense: we read the things she paints like symbols on cards, minimal clues to a fortune told in wispy lines made with a thin brush. There is a house cut out of newspaper and there is a tree, then there are two trees seeming to speak to one another, yet it is a narrative unexpected of landscape painting. Her pictorial elements hover between rock and cloud not fully committed to themselves. They are a stand-in, a token, remains of an event passed from sight. Why is it there? We apprehend what falls from Brigitte’s hands when it falls into place in self-reflection. She releases representation from the restraint of presupposed order, frees pictorial elements to participate in a scheme of imagination deciphering the particular grammar of conversing trees fallen from her hand as though her art were the art of divination.