New Artworks from Monika Kropshofer
Ricarda Geib 2009
„Artwork should open eyes instead of blending them”
Daniel Buren, 1975
The desire to experiment is a characteristic (feature) of Monika Kropshofers new artworks, which you can divide into two work groups. Full of refinement she moves, turns and takes the perspectives apart and translates her perception into an new, artful, interwoven whole. In her new works the artist reduces the thematic – she fragments, diminishes and in doing so achieves a strong level of compression. Both series are designated with a high degree of colour sensuality. With her vibrant rhythms – tones, tunes and dissonances – Kropshofer`s newest pictures resemble a minimalist score of becoming a pictured melody.
The apparent dematerialization of the object is the main feature of the first series (Sequence 6). Here compositions are horizontally, vertically or diagonally stretched and formats mixed.
Lines no longer have the function to indicate borders of coloured surfaces and objective motives, they are independent means of expression.
In o. T. (Luxor, S6/01) the artist positions a frame into the picture, a picture within a picture. Bound in a kind of white passe-partout template, heavy sand-coloured ashlars from Luxor oscillate between picture and reality, surface and matter. As if the categories have slipped from inside to outside, looking through this »window« it looks like an outdoor to another outdoor. The white transparency of the »window« responds to a blue, perfect opaque, therein a repellent paint application on the right side of the picture margin.
Kropshofer fades in an abandoned external staircase with a forced close vision, its grey steps with dark shadows advance diagonally into the pictorial space and cut through a red coloured triangle, which rests on the right side of the picture margin (S6/02). Light changes to shadow, shadow to light – optical phenomenons generate movement. A dynamic back and forth, forwards and backwards begins when Kropshofer reduplicates exactly these portrait formats of the step-fragments and stages them as a »diptych« (S6/03). The rotation of one of the pictures alienates and transforms the motive. In the encounter of both objects its ratio seems to shift to left to right, up and down, border and midpoint. Not a staircase but the picture of an immaterial acting beam determines the composition.
Contrasts are the methods in Monika Kropshofer‘s oeuvre. In this series too we find stripped pictures of assumed geometrical ornamental soberness (S6/03, S6/04), but alone the zoom effect leads to a change of field of vision. Soft shining colour strips in yellow or blue move over angular steps. In the diptych they resemble virtual small carpets »runner«, giving the steps a direction, stabilising the staircase. A last notion of realness arises in the viewer – but logical picture contents are long since overridden. Monika Kropshofer tells us with playful easiness wonderfully abstract stories: Stories about vertical scaling, about diagonal excitement and about the rare, but so pleasant horizontal silence.
Some time ago Monika Kropshofer began to demolish completed works, to cut them up in order to newly present fragments of her own works in independent compositions. Work group II (Sequence 7) include collages. Indeed Monika Kropshofer conceals behind her »dissecting skill«, a seemingly destructive procedure, an objective: as if the artist wanted to assure herself of her artistic origin, the works equal a look back but are yet a look forward. Kropshofer‘s collages have a semantic ambiguity. She dismantles and alienates the photographs, imposes them with optical irritations. Different, alleged not belonging together steps of reality encounter each other.
The artist conceals a picture of a romantic evening mood at the sea behind humid-lustrous bars of monumentally dissected photographs (S7/01). Red coloured fields edge on Roman plain tiles, which spread out and move narrow lowlands to the edge of the picture margin (S7/05). In the areal pictural structure of the collages there is a distracting effect between the warm and cold colours, an abstract dynamic: perspective impressions occur in the virtual, yes an absurd juxtaposition from near and far.
In Monika Kropshofer‘s Martian collages (S7/08 – S7/15) the alien, distant unknown is to be the decisive stimulant. The material, which she goes back to, are »outside of course« astrayed records of the first Mars Rover. Mars has its recognizable, own Morphology. The surface of the red planet exists of sand. The »skin« of the planet furrowed by deep volcanoes, Kropshofer saturates with colour and disciplines the organic acting material into strict geometric forms. Sometimes you can only imagine the source, because of being repeatedly moistened or opaque overcoated until it has nearly disappeared. The pictures receive their oscillatory tension due to the intertwined, interwoven colour- and material layers.
Taking a closer look you recognize the subtle colour modulation, the smooth oscillating surfaces of warm skin tones, the secretive glowing fire at the edge of the picture‘s margin. The frail blue of the Martian sky shadow however sharp cut and blood-red saturated mountain formations.
In the interconnection of different sense- and time levels Monika Kropshofer links to the design vocabulary of early pictures, her aesthetics is revealed in comparative seeing. She completely relies, so it seems, on the relativity and simultaneity of our awareness.
The mental igniting strength of the picture findings, her pleasure with fragments, reduces the constants aiming of aesthetics to absurdity.
With her new works Monika Kropshofer stages the dissappearance of the object.