It all began with a make-up mirror. Anna Oppermann devised and developed her artistic strategy of building ensembles from observation and analysis of optical reflections. By the late 1960s, Oppermann used a rectangular, plastic rimmed looking glass in order to duplicate, shift and expand her perception of reality, experienced as intrinsically cramped and angst-inducing, until reaching the virtual and imaginary. Simultaneously she concerned herself with the role of the artist, the meaning of the image and the economic conditions of art-production.
Her late, large-scaled ensemble “Paradoxical Intentions (To Lie the Blue Down from the Sky)” combines both levels of perception and reflection. From 1988 to 1992 the artist deployed an extensive panorama, thematically based on the illusiveness of aesthetics and the quest for truth, prettiness and ugliness, honesty and lie, rendition and coulisse. The initial object of the installation is a glassy shrine in royal blue, with a red decor on it. Facetted pictures of the object pervade the arrangement. Interspersed shapes and splinters of mirrors and colourful glass intensify the kaleidoscopic effect on the pictorial space.
In 1991 Anna Oppermann made “Paradoxical Intentions” accessible to the public for the first time in an exhibition at the Stadtgalerie in Kiel. Here, the space behind the central array also became an integral part of the work. The viewers could walk into the installation and around the walls. The panels and the spaces in front of them were furnished with the installation's elements and objects. The visitor could see the flipsides of canvasses and deposited painting utensils. From behind a glass cabinet, the view was led back into the centre of the ensemble. At Galerie Barbara Thumm the artist's last design of the ensemble is adapted to the given gallery space, though reversed: The viewers enter through the stage door. Facing the rear side of the ensemble, the visitors will be given access from the edges and are invited to enter Anna Oppermann's kaleidoscope on truth and lies.