UNTITLED NO 41
Acryl and Varnish with Spatula Technique on Canvas, 190 x 140 CM, 2018
In the past, it has only been the culture of the Romantic era which has managed to find anything approaching enjoyment in the world of shadows or the Kingdom of Darkness. Unforgettable fairy tales, legends, scary stories and all the horror that hides behind them, have been preserved in captivating artworks we can still access today. According to Greek mythology, the birth of the night – personified as the goddess Nyx in the theogony of Hesiod – is an event born out of chaos, with the resultant ‘darkness’ also shared with her brothers and sisters Gaia, Tartarus, Eros and Erebus. For the foremost Greek deities, the hour of birth always took place in the depths of the universe. The canvas “UNTITLED NO 41”, which is already quite imposing enough due to its size, is an abstract artwork featuring a rather brutal-looking darkness. Here, golden-yellow, red and white pigments appear in the foreground. Gathering in accumulations which flow like cloud formations, these colours which have a delicate matt sheen spread out across the entire canvas in all directions, occupying almost all the space. Even so, the black darkness is never really lost, which means its influence extends far beyond a merely functional backdrop. This is particularly noticeable at the centre of the canvas, where all the colour pigments featured in the picture seem to be present at the same time. At this point, a bright red breaks through, only to be immediately overlaid with a cascade of black rivulets, perhaps suggesting an interaction caused by temperature disparities. The electromagnetic oscillation of the colours, here almost reminiscent of a waveform, seems to actively reach out to engage our consciousness. Probably inspired by the aforementioned reference to the gods of Greek mythology, it is also worth pointing out how likely we are to have already assigned feelings to the depicted colours. For example, at the source of the image, which of course lies at the centre of the canvas, the colour red can be associated with love, and thus with the god Eros. And while black immediately conjures up thoughts of Erebus, the darkness, and Tartarus, the deepest regions of the underworld, their sister Gaia, the Earth, is presented in an entirely different light. Thus the acrylic “UNTITLED NO 41” is an impressive reminder that fertility and birth are not as far removed from death and darkness as we might wish to imagine.