Newport (USA), 1997
Opening Speech

Lisa Lyskava’s works are not the result of spiritual exercises in the theory of color. They are comments on the relationship between the painting and its viewer beyond any illustration.

Lisa Lyskava’s works are not mirrors of states of the soul. They are pieces of evidence of the continuous striving to aesthetically organize the world – with all its riddles and disturbing peculiarities. In doing so, an enormous competence in dealing with the artistic means and an extensive practical knowledge of painting are of benefit to her, allowing her to reach convincing solutions of the paintings in a relaxed, easy way.

The giving of titles, to Lisa Lyskava is part of the creative act. It is not meant as a commentary or clarification, but rather as the broadening of a work by giving an additional starting point for the intellectual crystallization process. Thus, the viewer can add his own reality level to the ones already existing in the painting which gives him the opportunity to become part of the composition.

In the work process, the partial deconstruction and removal of segments of the painting and their use in works frequently painted much later lead to multi-layered surfaces. In this way, over the years, the working process of the artist is documented in the elements of material of her paintings.

There is no thought-out concept underlying the works; they are not put in scene in a calculated manner by following a devised system. Instead, Lisa Lyskava’s inspiration by rhythm and the experience of music supports our looking at her works. Unbridled outbursts of emotions are very dangerous for an artist; deterring examples of the painted consequences are sufficiently known. If, however, like in the case of Lisa Lyskava, the intense inner participation of the painter is linked with a powerful creative force which is able to use the experience in a productive way, this may result in paintings utterly convincing, equally attracting mind and feelings, as they can be seen in this exhibition.

Lisa Lyskava’ s works come into being while they are being painted. The artist does not follow any concept. The accidental nature developing during continuous painting over and drawing over is being utilized for the further development of the idea of the painting – until the evaluation of the compositional elements, the rhythms and the sounds of color have reached an ultimate coherence and the work process is completed. During this process, Lisa Lyskava is not limited to introspection only. Although traces of representationalism may be detected only very rarely summoning up one’s own imagination, the paintings also tell of appearances of outer reality, mostly in a cheerful and moved, sometimes even dramatic, yet never histrionic way. This corresponds to the spirited way of painting that does without any forced swing. Lisa Lyskava’s easy going, the sounds of color and forms full of excitement, the relaxed state of the graphic traces – all this is passed on to the viewer stimulating his mind and his feelings.

It is the artist’s concern to join the opposites.
The quality of her use of colors: hardly any other aspect of her painting is so difficult to talk about. Some of her works – especially the latest ones – from the distance appear almost monochrome and simple. Having a closer look, however, they turn out to be complex and multi-layered organisms. Their principle of structure is the visible painting over. The lower levels of the application of paint do not underlie the process of gradual disappearance, but in the contrary remain visible throughout and after the work process, and they remain the condition for the spatial reception. A permanent interplay seems to keep the different layers of color and superimpositions in motion; the various levels of paint cannot be located easily. The indeterminability of their local position, however, grants them their intrinsic value and the changeability they claim.

Elisabeth Stahl, arthistorian, Newport (USA) 1997