Kathrin Kunz New Works
Black and white and all the shades between them characterise the works this artist realises on paper. She is concerned not with the reproduction of the given motifs (primarily from photographs), but with their further elaboration and reinvention within a slow, meditative working process: she takes days and weeks to work the graphite powder into the paper, layer by layer. Kathrin Kunz sees the monochrome – her freely chosen reduction of compositional possibilities – as a chance to pursue her enquiries more penetratingly, to search for new possibilities of representability and to make new discoveries.
Her works from 2016 feature compositions that are of an elemental nature; they are often defined through the horizontal, vertical and diagonal. These develop their effectiveness as prominent boundary lines between light and dark. The motifs of the works in the horizontal format of 144 x 180cm are arranged laterally and soon begin to suggest landscapes, which continue on – and can be mentally extended – primarily to the right and left.
However, when the boundary between the land and the sea (or the earth and the heavens) is drawn sharply and their separation is underscored through the image’s progressive darkening from the bottom towards the horizon line, our gaze into the depths of this space can actually reverse back on itself: the illusion disappears, as though this boundary line had out moved in front of the image and the sheet were arching towards us.
Ambiguous qualities also typify her works in significantly smaller formats. The constructive and experimental element is more readily apparent in them and finds expression in their seriality. The areas where the light colour of the paper has been left free can be read as shapes, but also as light falling on three-dimensional geometrical objects and causing them to emerge in relief.
Viewers’ search for a representational element certainly exhibits an existential aspect. The light brings the objects to life. When these cannot or can scarcely be identified, we are prepared to find a view into an undefined and endless distance in the light-coloured surface of the paper, left blank and transitioning sometimes sharply and sometimes softly into the dark.
Alfonso Fratteggiani Bianchi
He grew up and learned to be an artist near Perugia. Fratteggiani Bianchi’s images are created out of a material that has been extracted from the Umbrian earth for centuries: Pietra Serena. The artist uses a unique technique to apply powdered pigments to the surface of this grey sandstone, cut in the form of squares that are only a few centimetres thick. The microscopic cavities of this very porous stone absorb the pigment, which is pressed into them with the artist’s little finger. In this way the pigment remains attached to the surface without any need for a binder. We are enabled to perceive the colour in all of its luminosity, which would otherwise be impossible. The coloured surface thus provides viewers with an unusual sense of depth, enhanced by the stone slabs’ three-dimensionality.