Ursula Ott @ weiss Berlin


Ursula Ott’s mirrored colored glass panes draw attention to the changing occurences of light and color in accordance with the day and seasons. The discs, clearly contoured geometric fields – often circles – are in silent interaction with the viewer, changing color and reflection depending on the moment and position of the subject. The light paints. With each movement of the eye, every change of the light, colors form into oscillation, into vibration. The outside world is shadowy and unreal, as seen through a veil, sunk deep into the colored glass. The inner view and the deep perception make their appearance, attention is directed to the changing sensation, away from the image of the outside world. Frequently, Ott’s discs radiate in glowing gold, which changes again at the next change of position. At the same time, the cool blue moonlight, the green of nature appear. Then again the colors mix like in a kaleidoscope. Banned, we stand before these works full of transcendence, spirituality, and light movement. Again and again, different sensations and feelings are evoked similarly as they might be by a piece of music. Glass and mirrors are materials that have fascinated artists of all times: glass painting of the Middle Ages or the mirror cabinets of the baroque, for example, were large, prestigious commissions. In modern times, the opus magnus by Marcel Duchamp “The Large Glass,” which was first exhibited unfinished in 1923, renders oil on glass. The works of Adolf Luther, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gerhard Richter, with whom Ursula Ott became a master student in 1990, are examples of recent modern work. For Luther, the immaterial reality of light was a counterpart to the material world, as in his concave mirror objects. For Michelangelo Pistoletto, the mirror is central, it absorbs the entire “società,” human community. Pistoletto’s performances often featured aggressive destruction of his mirror images in order to demonstrate the potential for change. Since 1967, Gerhard Richter has included large, painted and unpainted glass and mirror discs in his work individually and in groups. In contrast, the dimension of mirrored glass in the work of Ursula Ott is deliberately reduced. These are meditation pictures. Not the large format is in the foreground, but material and spiritual densification, the play of the light. Ursula Ott was born in 1960 in Waiblingen in Baden-Württemberg. She studied from 1982 to 1986 in Hamburg at the Hochschule für bildende Künste. From 1986 to 1990 she studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where she graduated as a master student of Gerhard Richter. Ott lives and works in Düsseldorf, where, for example, she participated in the 2007 exhibition “Collecting Art” at the Museum Kunstpalast with works owned by Thomas Schütte. Currently, her work is being shown in the Düsseldorf Kai 10 / Arthena Foundation in the exhibition “Catching the Light.”

Excerpt from Stephan von Wiese, “The Light Paints. On the glass panes of Ursula Ott”)