bechter kastowsky galerie, Vienna / Liechtenstein
Notes on Spatial Figurations in the Paintings of Aurelia Gratzer
Nothing is in the mind that was not first in the senses. — Saint Thomas Aquinas
At first sight, the paintings of Aurelia Gratzer seem to be a closed system of sections, lines and structures; compact, rich in contrast, almost industrial. Sometimes, an accent of refulgent colour flashes into the depths, causing a metallically lustrous area to hit the eye. In addition, exquisitely fine linear constructions alleviate sections; vanishing points perfidiously lead us astray. In their relationship to one another, certain spaces might be rooms. The observers, however, develop points of reference to reality as they scan the pictures — memories of spatial constellations, objects in three-dimensional space. But Gratzer torpedoes every urge in the observer’s mind to complete the composition; the compositional structure, seemingly clear, is made unclear in order to clarify painting itself, in order to guide the eye, to let it linger and give scope for irritation. And suddenly, we have depth. The balance between memories of space, architecture and objects is illusively disrupted. Here we see a balustrade, there a wall leads to the back, a landing, a grating, masonry; something comes to the fore, something leads to the back; where has the remaining space disappeared to, can we linger here at all? — no; these are spatial constructions, not rooms for people. Because there is no depth. It’s only painting. — Andreas Hoffer, curator Kunsthalle Krems, Austria
Art does not reflect the visible, but makes visible. — Paul Klee
Liliane Tomasko's abstract world is like an exploration: the painterly process builds on the movement, the use of quick brushstrokes, the erasure and reworking, it is a constant conflict carried out with the help of paint, brush and spray. It is the totality of those components that impresses Tomasko. With a force and power she plays every kind of format. Abstraction, though often falsely considered simple, is a complex, difficult-to-reach area in painting — and yet, is not every abstract image an object, a theme, at the bottom? For Liliane it has always been the exploration of the everyday rhythm of the night: “Sleep is a waste land to explore,” says the artist in a short film on the occasion of her solo exhibition “a dream of” at blain I southern, Berlin has emerged. These are dreams that result from it and which are painterly realized.
In earlier works, the study of sleep and dream was still recognizable in the representational image of the bed — both then and today is the sleep for Liliane Tomasko a welcome guest to break away from earthly existence and to immerse into another world. This can be nice and reassuring, but just as in a "grim silence" tilt to the contrary. "Alternative worlds," the artist calls it, a lifeline in many situations. — Eva-Maria Bechter, bechter kastowsky galerie, Vienna