For her exhibition „Ruby by the Lake“ Rachel von Morgenstern has developed new works, which take up the architectural conditions of the exhibition space, address them and in this way create connections to them. Her abstract, translucent and seemingly floating paintings, sculptures and objects emphasize the spatial structure and create resonances between the interior and exterior.
The artist often uses transparent polyester instead of canvas, which direct the viewer’s gaze not only on the two-dimensional surface, but also to the space in between the wall. The stretchers remain visible and are an integral part of the composition. This leads to the fact that the pictures appear like windows. This concept, deeply rooted in the history of painting, shows an image that mediates between inside and outside and creates insights as well as outlooks. The interior is not defined as hermetically sealed from the outside, but enters into a dialogue with it, and so it seems as if one saw the play of the waves of the nearby Lake of Constance or the shimmering colors of the setting sun on the water. At the same time the two-dimensional pictorial space is expanded, so that the viewer can literally see into the picture and in this way the paintings gain a relief-like character. They are thus in a state of limbo, in which they can be perceived both pictorially and as spatial bodies.
Although Rachel von Morgenstern creates sculptural works as well, painting is at the center of her artistic practice. While she mainly sprayed the paint on the transparent canvases in her earlier paintings, her latest works testify a clear shift towards the basics of painting. In some works the transparency of the image carriers is reduced and the image space is almost self-contained. The application of paint has also become more pasty and, as a result, also more painterly.
The artist is particularly interested in colors and their individual properties – especially their ability to capture moods and convey them as an atmospheric spatial structure. Sometimes the colors are applied very delicately onto the polyester and stand for themselves, sometimes they are thick and mutually interpenetrate, so that for example strong magenta and white penetrate in gestural color fields to reveal their mixing ratios in lovely-looking pink tones. On the one hand, there is a meditative tranquility on the picture’s surfaces, which in turn is broken by a moving upon and beneath, which not only sets the whole image in motion, but also the viewer’s gaze. The artist apparently fragments the basic parameters of painting. Surfaces, shapes and lines meet in the compositions, creating tensions, in which the gesture of the painter always remains recognizable. In this way, the viewer can perceive clearly how lines are turned into forms and how these forms, in turn, are opposed to painterly color fields.
Rachel von Morgenstern takes the two-dimensional image as a starting point in order to expand the traditional limits of painting. Based on her transparent paintings, the artist creates sculptures made of fine aluminum gauze. This gauze absorbs the transparency and lightness of the canvases. It appears as if the artist has found the counterpart of the transparent fabric of her pictures, whereby the sculptures appear like paintings in space, which is further enhanced by their painterly colorings. The sculpture „Untitled, 2020“ hovers freely in space and gives a hint of a figurative silhouette. It appears like an extra or mythical creature – to remain abstract in the end and to only allow figurative elements on the level of association. The black, massive amiere iron, which can also be found in the work „Blinkobello, 2020“, stands in strong contrast to the delicate materials and the soft colors of the other works represented in the exhibition.
An essential feature of Rachel von Morgenstern’s works is that they continuously relate to each other, penetrate each other and thus create resonances that take the inside and outside as a starting point and throw the viewer back to his own physicality.
Rachel von Morgenstern studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach and at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Her works have been shown in various solo and group exhibitions, e.g. at the Kunstverein Hannover, the Kunstverein Heppenheim, the FILIALE, Frankfurt, the Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and the Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt. She was a fellow of the Opelvillen Rüsselsheim and the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts Salzburg.
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