What can be the outcome of working with one line? That seems to be the questions to which the pieces at Patrick Heide gallery answer. Artworks from different artists attempt to explore a creative world where geometry and minimal colour rule.
Five artists – Isabel Albrecht, James Brooks, Caroline Kryzecki, Karim Noureldin and Dillwyn Smith create using exclusively with, what it seems like a constraint, a ball pen, a crayon, fabric, or by utilizing pre-established patterns. For an external eye, this reductive environment could be perceived as boring, engendering a too simplistic outcome. These types of works stem from the 1920’s De Stijl and Bauhaus movement and have been reworked in Mark Rothko’s paintings as well, as explained by Vererna Platzgummer in the introductory leaflet. It is a necessary rite of passage prior to entering the floor of the gallery where she explains where each artist draws their inspiration from, which kind of material they use and notes the difference between each methodology.
Although each of the works is interspersed, they become recognizable by the artists’ signatures. James Brooke is the author of the small frames in which collide bands of blocky colours on a grey pale background. Caroline Kryzecki is responsible for the holographic ball pen drawings. Isabel Albrecht creates illusionary diamond shapes, squares and lines with a subtle halo as a background. Karim Noureldin plays with crayons and irregular shapes, and Dillwyn Smith interacts with colour and geometry, and introduced textile and books.
The notion of simplicity never occurred to me while gazing at the works of the exhibition. It is the choice of colour from an infinite palette, the representation in a never-ending space, and the expression of one setting emerging from a multitude of different arrangements which speak to me. This type of work is reminiscent of minimalism, whereby the eye takes over, not necessarily engendering emotions or thoughts. I am also looking at the interpretation of a person’s vision with a different vocabulary than I am used to. This language resembles a pattern, codes which are not that uncommon since all the artists from this exhibition are “speaking” it.
It is my turn now to decipher the lines, the shapes, and the colours. The different angles from which I admire each work influences my perceptions. From afar, I appreciate the abstraction, my imagination runs wild and I realize that the means don’t matter anymore. If I stand closer, I am attracted to the nature of the subject matter, the context during which it was created, and the effect the light has on each line. Finally, the pencil scaffolding, the irregularities and the smudges become the center of my attention and I don’t see the work as I did before.
Is there a limit to creativity if the means are reduced to a bare minimum? What could be defined as a the least possible means with which an artist can create? As I simultaneously step towards and away from the works, I allow the intellect to question the immensity of art in when only minimal means are at play.
The Colour and the Shape at Patrick Heide (13 July – 23 September 2017)