Barbara Thumm

Anna Oppermann: Das Fruehwerk

07 Jun - 07 Sep 2013

Anna Oppermann
Frühwerk - Nr. 175b
mixed media on board
130 x 120 cm
It started back then, in the mid-1960s, with the fact that at some point I experienced looking at an object – the intense observation of a plant, a deciduous leaf, either in a mirror or by drawing the leaf – as something quite wonderful. This meditative condition, the experience of becoming one with an object, this is what I wanted to represent back then in order to preserve the memory of this pleasant condition and make it possible for other individuals to understand this experience, to enable them to have the same experience of pleasure. This was the garden of paradise referred to by Freud, in which human beings could take refuge in their imaginations, and it was naive in regard to how it was conveyed and realised. Then (as I do today) I constructed still lives, in order to paint pictures (individual pieces). These pictures contained stylised body shapes, at whose centre was a mirror or a mirror with plant material. Other attempts at seducing the viewer were drawn knees, either from the perspective of someone sitting or in front of a more naively drawn table with a still life, for example mirrors, fruit, bits of paper with sketches (if possible trompe l’oeil), and I imagined that outside observers would be able to imagine themselves inside the picture. These expectations likewise were hardly ever met, and that is why I built boxes that one could sit in, or their negative shapes (according to the seated body) that were intended to invite the recipient to observe in a leisurely and meditative way the construction of real plants, drawn plants, photographed plants, combined with quotes on a table in the box. It was only a small step from here to the open arrangements that one can enter, sit down in, or lie down in.
Anna Oppermann, 1978

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