until 31.10. | #2823ARTatBerlin | Sexauer Gallery presents from September 1, 2020, the exhibition “Counting Silence” with ballpoint pen drawings by the artist Caroline Kryzecki.
The gallery will show a series of completely new works by Caroline Kryzecki. The idea for these works was born in this house of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany / Connecticut, where Caroline Kryzecki worked and lived for some time in 2019.
Caroline Kryzecki is known for her ballpoint pen drawings with up to thousands of lines that overlap in several layers or grids. For almost a decade she has been playing through all the possibilities, from extremely reduced monochrome works with only a few superimposed grids to drawings that almost seem like paintings. With her partly monumental works in size of up to 270x190cm, the artist explores boundaries, physical, psychological and those of the material. Kryzecki always focuses on the working process. Ideas are born in the process and in a certain sense, the works emerge from within themselves. Kryzecki sets herself rules, enters structures and finds freedom in them.
The drawings with horizontal and vertical lines often have a textile appearance. Kryzecki has been involved in weaving for years. Weaving is interesting for the artist because the technique of weaving is also based on grids. Two thread systems are crossed at right angles. But there are analogies not only structurally, but also phenomenologically, because some ballpoint pen drawings look like digitally conceived, and weaving is an early digital medium. Through the interweaving of warp and weft threads, weaving ultimately involves working with color dots, which only produce an image when viewed together. Today we are talking about pixels. And indeed, Jacquard looms were already controlled by digital data carriers – punch cards – at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
During her visit to a weaving mill near Kassel in 2018, Kryzecki came across a stack of fifty-year-old cartridge paper from the GDR. This paper with an imprinted grid was used by fabric designers to create textile patterns. In February 2019 Kryzecki took the cartridge paper with her to Bethany, Connecticut, where she had received a studio grant from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. For the first time in almost a decade, she picked up a brush there. And just as she limited herself in ballpoint pen drawings to the simplest means of drawing, the line, this time she used the simplest means of painting, the brush impression. She printed small shapes in the fields of the grid, consisting of a straight line and a curve – conic sections, similar to semicircles. Following self-imposed rules, Kryzecki placed these imprints like pixels in the grid, leaving herself and the works to the process, as in the ballpoint pen drawings. Again, this process revealed a multitude of developmental possibilities through coincidences, deviations, errors or the visualization of structures. After Kryzecki recognized this, she had rasters screen-printed on paper measuring 140x100cm and 190x150cm, back in Berlin. In reference to the cartridge paper, where the key data are listed next to the grid, Kryzecki had her name printed next to the grid and the details of the places of origin BETHANY / BERLIN printed on the opposite side.
Caroline Kryzecki painted thousands of brush impressions from gouache and watercolor on paper specially produced for the artist. Kryzecki worked with the primary colors red and blue, each in a variety of tones. By combining the colors and changing the size and orientation of the print and the white space it leaves, as well as modulating hues and opacity, Kryzecki can vary the work within the grid in many ways. The variations within these parameters result in almost unlimited possibilities in the nearly seven thousand fields, again subdivided into about half a million smaller fields. The artist first chooses one of these possibilities, follows a self-imposed rule, and creates an initial structure. In the course of the work, situations then repeatedly arise that require further artistic decisions or reactions to the process. The work within the process is a constant interplay of intuitive and reflexive steps.
The repetitive and the work in grids makes one think of the work of artists such as Anni Albers, Irma Blank, Channa Horwitz or Agnes Martin, without Kryzecki referring directly to them. She sees parallels and sources of inspiration rather in music; in composers like John Cage or Morton Feldman. Morton Feldman was inspired by his compositions by Anatolian nomadic weaving. During the weaving process, the finished part is not visible, which leads to asymmetries in the finished carpet. These are not correct, however. Rather, the process determines the work. As with Feldman’s tones, for Kryzecki the brush impressions are the material for the creation of a work, but not the building blocks of a finished idea. Staking out a field, working on the basis of structures, eliminating hierarchies, entrusting oneself to the process, not correcting anything, and foregoing a finished idea – these are characteristics of Kryzecki’s work in which he recognizes himself.
Kryzecki has called her exhibition Counting Silence. This title evokes the silence of the snowy forests of Connecticut, but also the understanding of silence in the book of the same name by John Cage. Cage, a friend of Feldman, and another important source of inspiration from the field of music. Cage often told how he noticed in an anechoic room that silence does not exist because in a silent environment you can hear your own pulse and nervous system. With 4’33” he invented a piece that has silence as its theme, consists of supposed silence, is not composed and refers to nothing, but simply happens like the circulation of blood in the body. The works of Counting Silence also pulsate and refer to nothing. It almost seems as if one can feel one’s own pulse beat when viewing them: Counting Silence.
Counting Silence thus implies both: silence, but also the numerical, the rhythm, the beat, the passage of time. If you immerse yourself in the works of Counting Silence, time seems to stand still. If one asks Kryzecki about the nucleus of her work, it sounds paradoxical at first when she first comes to the playful in view of her structured approach. But even this contradiction is only apparent because every game has rules. The observance of these rules and the apparent repetition of what is always the same contain moments of freedom. These moments must also be savored. They are rare. Just like the silence and standstill of time. We should count them. Counting Silence.
Exhibition dates: Tuesday, September 1 to Saturday, October 31, 2020To the Gallery
Exhibition Caroline Kryzecki – Sexauer Gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin