Hanna Sukare (Vienna, 2007)
Here an airplane, there a fish and here a piece of bread – for a long time in Christine Gutgsell’s work every object was separated from the other in a very clear and precise way. The airplane, the fish and the piece of bread, although they were together on a piece of paper, a canvas, or a piece of burlap were actually very distinct figures, each one able to maintain its own univocal physical being. Only a small fragment of the round form of the bread overflows its borderline, a wing invading its neighbouring territory. Two times four fields of white, four divided into four by a central demarcating line the hue of “cafelatte” roads of the heart. Dividing lines confer structure, space and depth to the picture. In the first works in the 80’s the eye continues its research, exploring field after field, searching for other lines reading an illustrated story in which at the center of the field, through the years one happens to find signs that he has learned to recognize, signs that were already present and recognizable as marginal figures.
At the end of the 90’s these dividing lines, these signs of demarcation become in themselves the main theme of Christine Gutgsell’ s work. Figures and objects disappear: areas of green, white, orange, yellow and brown appear, interrupted only by lines that cleanly cut through them on the canvas. Is this a progression toward monochromaticity?
During the first years of 2000 dividing lines disappear, fragmentation no longer exists, everything becomes one. Only color and surface, stripped of imbellishments, of defence mechanisms, must be affirmed. Series identified by different colors are born: series in white, in black, in green, in gray, in pink. If you place the works of one series beside another you will notice that the single pieces when put together form a new larger work. Grass, veins, smoke, space, skin, rust, wounds, earth, white over white, dust, blood. The term monochromatic is too minimizing for these works. Because even though, at times, a work is composed of a single color that Christine Gutgsell’s creates her subtle landscapes. Gutgsell’s work does not try to reinforce nor reproduce beauty or horror of the world; on the other hand it wants to reflect in itself the essence of man, the nature of man caught between becoming and having become, between his being and having been. The sinuosity of movements and the extremely graceful weightlessness that inhabit these works recall the extraordinary dance of the ancient taoist calligraphers’ hieroglyphics on paper. Reduced to the essential, at the heart itself of painting, we can say that Christine Gutgsell’s latest works tend toward expression in the highest sense of being, in an almost mystic sigh, beyond the airplane, the piece of bread, the fish.
English version: Elisabeth Byers, Bozen/Bolzano (2008)