And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


 

Why am I so fascinated with abstraction and choose to completely avoid depicting the world around me, you might ask while looking at my paintings.

Instead of merely recording the world around me, I rather visualise the world of my inner self. I invent a new universe of the unseen. In a way, I work like a music composer – my instruments are not violins and drums, but the world of colour in all its beauty and strength.

While listening to music nobody poses questions about abstraction. We are used to listening to it without being able to recognise any subject matter and we thereby feel no need to follow any discernible storyline. While surrounded by music, we are able to dive into the unknown universe of our inner self.

In my world of colour I invite you to do the same. Colour can touch your soul in a similar way as music. Both media allow us to travel in our mind and spirit through a non-physical world. Yet the prerequisite for embarking on such a journey is our willingness to embrace this chance by creating the stillness in our inner self. This journey is similar to the experience of meditation.

As opposed to music, the perception of which is dependent on the duration of the composition, paintings are free from any temporal limitations. The painting allows the viewer to decide for himself how long he feels like exploring its world of colour and space, its rhythms of darkness and light.

I am fascinated by the hidden, the unseen, everything which remains behind the visible surface.

Art is a form of research, an adventurous investigation of the unknown, of the less obvious, of exactly those aspects of our existence which remain most elusive and evade disclosure.

In a certain way, you could say that through my paintings I create a parallel world, a domain of parallel truth, which exists only beyond the visible. My paintings make visible something which exists as such, but its existence remains hidden beyond the reach of the visibility as it is known to us. I bring something to light, allowing it to appear in my studio/laboratory. Yet, this something already exists before it appears in my paintings, only that it had not yet shown itself. I have to lift it like a treasure from this beyond and coax it into visibility.

Surprisingly, I often come across images which are visually very similar to my paintings, only that they are microscopic and macroscopic visualisations of the invisible. Particularly poignant examples are fascinating images of the outer space created by telescopic lenses. Or images generated within molecular biology of intricate cell structures, perhaps even cell structures of our own bodies, which are invisible to our naked eye and can only be created with the help of powerful microscopes. Such images, however, are representations of reality and not abstractions, even through they sometimes appear confusingly similar. They look like abstractions, since we unable read them as they show us something unknown. Something unknown, which nevertheless is a part of own otherwise so familiar world. Yet, these aspects of our world are so small or so large, that they are accessible to us only through the mediation of highly developed technical equipment.

I am convinced that there is such a thing as a blueprint of the entire existing world and all its beings. It is impossible for us to go beyond this blueprint, yet we can wonder at its magnificence.

In this sense, there is no such thing as pure abstraction, since all “abstractions” can be discovered within some form of reality. One has to, however, make the effort to discover them.

 

Ingeborg zu Schleswig-Holstein