What unites the works by the artists Cornelia Baltes (D), Ira Svobodová (CZE) and Natalia Załuska (POL) in terms of context and perception, is their passion for the liminal dance between abstraction and figuration. Whether painting, relief-like wall sculpture, or installation arrangement – here gear wheels appear to interlock with each other, industrially manufactured everyday objects appear to be stacked on top of each other – and caricaturally overdrawn anthropomorphic forms are captured on canvas as two-dimensional projections of reality. The exhibit TRIO FEMININ deals with a constant redefining of the proportions of construction and tension, of depth and spatial impact.
In recent years, Natalia Załuska’s works have revealed a process towards earth toned colouration, lending them a new dimension. Often the viewer gains the impression of constructions with a symbolic emblematic, conveying the effects of a laterna magica: the visual axes extend into the depth of the room, and appear to reference magically enchanted landscapes.
All of these artworks are naturally not without presuppositions or freed from tradition. But they are launched with the fresh arbitrariness of the artists, conceiving the historical lines of development as initial markings, from which they are then redrawn in completely different directions. In several of the works, one can recognise the minimalistic focussing on primary structures, whereby the basic geometric forms are again and again aesthetically contradicted by meandering lines and apparently organically proliferating structures.
In the work of Cornelia Baltes are there references to colour field painting and Hard Edge, in particular to Ellsworth Kelly? In the three-dimensionally projecting, seemingly sculptural works of Ira Svobodová, in which rounded forms and rectangular angles are superimposed, are there reminiscences of the minimalistic and constructivist repertoire of forms? Perhaps to the “Composition with Circles and Rectangles” of Sophie Taeuber-Arp? Ira Svobodová bestows a new spin on such a repertoire. In the interaction of the three positions of this exhibit, which are so close to each other and yet simultaneously so far apart, a new aesthetic dialect is formulated, an alternative to that which is art-historically anchored and which is predominantly characterised by works of men.
There is a quotation by Sophie Taeuber-Arp that seems to be virtually custom-made for the TRIO FEMININ, for the artists of her subsequent generation: “It’s joy and happiness that enable us to take away the fear of the problems of life and to find natural solutions.”
(Thomas Miessgang, Vienna 2022)