Unna (Germany) , 1997

It is impossible to write about Lisa Lyskava’s paintings without writing about the artist’s personality, and it takes quite some self-discipline not to get lost in lengthiness and great detail. Lisa Lyskava is bursting with ideas und élan vital. A look on her vita proves her fascination for the phenomenon of the new that is to be discovered. She finds it in the written word, in music, in theater and the moved picture of the film, and then, finally, in painting .

Driven by the urge to get to the bottom of things, to experiment and stretch the horizons of experience, with each and every single painting of hers she plunges into the adventure of a new experience. A restless spirit, Lisa Lyskava cannot be satisfied by treading tracks which she herself has already beaten. Placing her in any of the common art trends has to be ruled out. The tradition of the informal may have had an influence on her work, but Lisa Lyskava has managed to develop her artistic originality and independence.

Certainly, reality to her is also inspiration, yet it is never illustrated in her works. The idea of the particular painting is generated only in the dialogue with painting ground and color. Several layers of colors, lines, and structures, one on top of the other, or elements from card board, paper or cloth, glued onto the canvas and occasionally painted over again, bear witness of the many steps of development of a piece of work or, to say it more aptly, of the various phases of maturity on the way to completion.

Lisa Lyskava never accepts the limitations of the canvas. To the surface, she adds the dimension of depth. To the dimension of seeing, she adds the dimension of hearing. Now with a thin brushstroke, then with a strong application of color, she emphasizes certain features and creates new impetus, one relating to the other, altogether condensing into a rhythmic pulsating integral whole. Among the lines, spaces are opening up, made from color and light and vibrating with motion. The viewer enters the border zone of his perception. Not unlike the “Rhythm Paintings” by Marc Tobey, everything seems to be moving and full of sound.

In spite of all explosion of colors, of all play with structures, lines, and areas, the works of Lisa Lyskava are neither results of arbitrariness nor of pure chance. The interactions of light and shadow, of vivacity and reserve, of surface and depth, are a desired result of a properly thought-out performance. Lisa Lyskava does not play merely in order to play. She paints because to her, a painting is another form of expression. Like a mirror, her works reflect the nature and spirit of their creator. Colors showing the enjoyment of the pleasures of life, a brushstroke telling of the artist’s vivacity and force, compositions proving her love of music

For that reason, one would give an incomplete view of her works if one did not take into consideration also those paintings which show the thoughtful artist reflecting and commenting on contemporary issues. There is no change in the predominance of color and the interplay of line and space. Different from those works, though, in which an unconcerned coloration predominates, here one finds an atmosphere of introvert tranquility and meditative calmness. Lisa Lyskava never slips into sensitivities or becomes pathetic. Always, her paintings remain the witness of a human being who is not willing to feign or sacrifice reality for appearance.

To the artist, each of her works is like a living being. It has a soul and, as she herself says, it needs to breathe. If there is no air for it to breathe, it may happen that Lisa Lyskava removes parts of the painting ground already worked on in order to integrate them, sometimes years later, into other paintings. In this way, she produces collages from paint and materials which make unmistakably clear that her works are no translations of any already prevailing experiences. Instead, they are creations of explicitly new, previously non-existent experiences.

Unlike the symphonic compositions from color and brushstroke, the almost monochrome paintings from recent times appear calm and meditative. And yet – the closer one is studying them, the more also these canvasses begin to live. The sensitive coloring of the surface hides mysteries. Something is happening on the deeper levels of the coloration. We cannot define it, we cannot locate it, but we clearly feel that it is there.

The bow between temperament and expression of comments on contemporary issues may be a large one, and yet the work of Lisa Lyskava presents itself as a homogenous whole.Lisa Lyskava has got herself as well as her art straightened out, and that is what gives her credibility.

Thomas Hengstenberg, author, Unna (Germany), 1996