Galerie Guido W. Baudach exhibits works by five German based female abstract painters

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Galerie Guido W. Baudach exhibits works by five German based female abstract painters
installation view. Courtesy Galerie Guido W. Baudach Foto: Roman März.

by Thomas Groetz

BERLIN.- Under the title Quintessenz Galerie Guido W. Baudach is presenting five German based female abstract painters from the younger generation. Besides their gender, age, medium and genre the artists are connected by the fact that they all have studied at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf – a place known for its pronounced painting tradition. Beyond the mentioned similarities Quintessenz demonstrates different artistic languages and different attitudes towards abstract painting that are loosely juxtaposed and thus left to discussion.

While particularly in the last decade many artists have cultivated painting among other more contemporary felt or rated media and means of expression as performance, film and photography a new generation of artists seems to center again with a definite and new focus on a genre that periodically is taken for outmoded or even done. But what can this generation add to the much scolded media after the canvas drawn on stretcher has in the past for the purpose of a conceptual enhancement already been “painted on“ with burns and bricks amongst other things? The strategical and ironical examination and questioning of painting that especially in Germany was carried out in the 1980s, is barely continued today. Beforehand critical and self-referential attitudes appear at the most only as formal assimilations. Besides and simultaneously a lustfully appropriation of the diverse “stylisms“ and languages of the 20th century painting takes place. This affirmative attitude also includes that the painting with its strictly rectangular, two-dimensional limitations is basically no longer put into question. As a result of the altered relation to their medium and its history a rich painterly complexity appears which the Quintessenz show is making obvious.

Alicia Viebrock, a Herbert Brandl student, stands for the gestural and expressive variant of abstraction. Spontaneous calligraphic, powerful brush movements and coloured sprinklings on a mostly neutral or monchrome background recall the German postwar Informell. Partially even figurative appearances like boats or vegetative elements materialize in Viebrocks ink paintings on canvas that come out as playful-eruptive and fluid-transparent at the same time.

The gestural and graphic impulse plays an also important role in the work of Jana Schröder – even though in a different picturesque style. The Albert Oehlen student produces tension by layering maniac-seeming scribblings with pronounced un-fluid and clumsy-stuttered rulings. These two means of expression also merge or “sink“ into her monochrome, black-impasto paintings to build a dense, auratic environment.

Similar graphic characteristics appear in the paintings of Ina Gerken: the demonstration of “inelegant“, broken color threads, as well as impulsive strokes that express a kind of tensed naivety. These laconical as well as deliberately placed lineatures the student of Katharina Grosse settles in a subtle outgrowing image area, where differently dense staggered coloured blotches and textures produce a distinct pictorial depth.

Not much linear, but more related to structure and coloured areas are the works of Sabrina Fritsch in which diverse shapings take place. The varied pictorial structures of the Peter Doig student partly recall constructivist or concrete image areas from the 1920s to the 1960s. Besides geometrically, organically or serially composed textures pictorial formulas turn up, in which applied, sculpturally appearing colour masses interact with an ethereal-flat colourism.

In the works of the Tal R student Tamina Amadyar the viewer is confronted with the balance of “empty“ and precice color-defined areas. Conversing, intensely colourful and smoothly swung out form-constellations generate rudimentary spatial depth-effects. The area of conflict consisting of sharp and imprecise defined demarcations and a multidimensionality resulting from this form an interplay, that in this way - virtually - only appears in painting.

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