Painting and Drawing Sophie Johanna Kaiser
The exhibition offers an insight into the work of the Munich artist Sophie Johanna Kaiser, who commutes between France and Germany. She picks up themes from both countries in her work, but it is always nature, not civilization, that interests her: for instance, how delicate petal shapes alternate with abstract, multi-layered color blocks on a monochromatic background. Only occasionally does the artist create a sense of space; even then, the outlines blur into organic-looking forms. The transparency of color is of crucial importance in her working process. Kaiser frequently experiments with color and open-ended forms, lines, and dashes, as well as matter and abstraction. This diversity characterizes her work, 35 examples of which are exhibited in Bielefeld.
The drawings, which the artist created in several sequences in 2012 and this year, thematize the reflection of light as filtered and refracted through the studio window. Kaiser sketched these drawings with charcoal, chalk and pencil. Sometimes she follows the movements of wandering shadows, blurred transitions between shapes, and the distortions of objects in the light: a bouquet of wild buttercups or a chair is focused here and removed there, here set in sharp contrast against a light background and there blurry, thickly interwoven into the darkness. The individual shapes become independent and form organic patterns.
In works on canvas the artist varies the themes of light and shadow with the help of color: on a layer of China paper that allows the diffusal of the acrylic paint, she captures shadows on a wall that is not white, but rather striped; this way she pictures the mood of an afternoon in the South. The twilight in the dark images reveals the brilliant colors of red and blue flowers in a mysterious way, or creates forms that look like human figures in outline. But this remains only an insinuation.
The exhibition shows how Sophie Kaiser's pictorial forms are determined by the drawn line. The artist always falls back to the structures found in this medium, varies them, and translates them into painting. Even when working with paint the theme of the reflection of light and shadow remains a leitmotif, even though the shapes of objects are dimmed in order to give color the room to develop its own life.
Text: Dr. Esther Wipfler, Munich