IMAGO

Opening Speech
Dangerous Paintings Colors, joined painfully, a disturbing feeling – beguiling, yes, but can one do it like that … Figures are gripping the eye, don’t betray their secret; the environment, the surroundings of the colors cause us to relate to their character – a bit grotesque, very sensorial, similar to no one, and yet – a memory is budding, something is getting typical, but one could not determine any ‘school’. Yes, this is tricky. These paintings force you to get involved with yourself. The adventure to paint paintings like these continues if the viewer is willing to look at them, to discover; his eyes are wandering into the depths, into the areas, the spaces. The colors help him in giving him a hold and a high. The contemplation of the paintings, stated objectively: tiniest segments of paint, scraps of cloth, the quality of the paper, a hint of glowing over strongly contrasted color areas – nothing is accidental here; forms are breathing, each color gives vitality and gains individuality by its immediate neighbor. A moment is captured – nothing is being told here, stated – but a lot has happened before that in order to describe what is pleasure, depth, the wide, what are spaces, ways – what going means. The topics? Real life and, yes, also what really is in us, what is real in us. Titles bring about thoughts, but also confusion; I suppose this is not mere chance. Particularly the refusal of setting a program challenges the viewer to invent the clue to these paintings himself; they invite him to get involved in a ‘looking-adventure’. These paintings don’t give themselves easily to the viewer. But if he dares to enter them, to open up to the effect of their colors, to the excitement in their spaces, then he is lost. Noticeably, a maelstrom seizes him pulling him into the reality of the painting. He is tempted to follow the path of the colors. Strong or light, shining or matt – they oscillate in multiple quality, create spaces and areas. At times, the eye of the viewer finds an island, but then again a contrast develops, a strange thrill of the senses intensifies, the eyes are confronted with a party of colors that irritates. By integrating into the whole of the painting, however, how particular color and shadow spots are flashing here and there, only a bit refracted or triumphantly clear, one has the impression of calculation, of a precisely thought-out composition. Maybe that is the reason why this ‘looking-adventure’ does not run out. Unexpectedly, calmness spreads, the painting breathes the polymorphism of a landscape offering us new outlooks again and again. The viewer himself creates the color-structured space of the plains, of the soft hills, the steep ridges on the horizon, the dirtily glowing clouds above high chimneys. People and animals seem to cross his way. He reaches places where the painting ground has been torn, where apparently even scraps have been ripped off. There, the viewer can catch his breath.

Mario Deckers, art historian Zuerich (Switzerland) 1991