Installation view at Galerie Tanja Wagner
Oil & acrylic on linen, dispersion & tape on wall
ca. 536 x 376cm
Do we share collective feelings? And if so, can one find images for them? With her new works, Grit Richter continues to explore the possibilities of how to externalize inner processes like feelings or memories. Based on the assumption, that we all share a kind of a collective emotional structure, she developed a complex system of forms and metaphors that are highly subjective but also readable for others. Due to her visual universe that is mostly abstract but always contains small figurative elements one can quickly link to all kind of associations. By using vastly different materials and media such as paintings, neon lights as well as objects made of wood, fabric or concrete, her multifaceted practice constantly breaks its own limits and expands out into the exhibition space. With additional wall paintings the gallery literally becomes a walk-in installation, or as the artist states: a pictorial space.
For My Skin is Thicker Than Yours Richter has refocused on painting. In her new work, she established an even more abstract language of form with an emphasis on spatial compositions that infiltrate the non-figurative approach once again. This play of oppositions finds an analogy within Richter’s use of color, which is mostly withdrawn but surprises with punctual outbursts of brightness.
The feeling of being entangled in an ambivalent situation is the basic notion of most of the new works. May it be through the composition of two forms being inextricably linked with each other, or the ping-pong rhetoric of the words Yes and No that builds the picture entitled Immer diese Unentschlossenen (Those Waverers Again). The dictum that serves as the exhibition title – My Skin is Thicker Than Yours – sends contradictory signals as well. First and foremost it expresses a defiant attitude but when looked at closer, it reveals a merely hidden fragility and vulnerability. The inner processes that are on display this time are located somewhere in between being very self aware and being exhausted or feeling insecure; and the constant movement back and forth between these two feelings that seems to be a basic state of mind. One of Grit Richter’s greatest strengths is to deal with those highly ambiguous and complex issues on a light-hearted level, so that the viewer never feels weighed down by looking at her art but uplifted and optimistic instead. She succeeds in showing us that ambiguity is a part of life we have to accept.
Press release Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin