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Some Comments on Christiane Grimm’s Objects

Christiane Grimm’s work as an artist is defined by colours and their reciprocal effects. Her pictorial concepts rupture the formal severity of geometric abstract art, which she completely bursts open and freely arranges in her most recent works. In spite of the diversity of their forms, she highlights the sensual aspect of colour in these compositions. When she aims at the dynamism of colour, this is directed towards a visual process. In her pictorial objects, she employs colour and form in such a way that their interpenetration generates a calculated and simultaneously vibrant pictorial world. They are poetic formations made up of light, floating planes, which are also achromatic on very rare occasions. By employing ribbed acrylic glass, Grimm achieves optical effects that run counter to an unambiguous perception of space. The colours’ refraction in the fine lines of the ribbed glass, which is positioned with intervening spaces, imbues her works with an emphatically painterly character, and they seem less like an assemblage of different materials. The artist composes the colours as converging or diverging simultaneous contrasts. Depending on the selection and positioning of colours, their relationship to one another is either complementary or non-complementary. The intuitively established chromatic ‘chords’ manifest themselves to viewers as consonant or dissonant. This simultaneous interplay of colours remains in motion and its aim is the viewer’s attentive and active gaze. Another reason why Grimm’s works cannot be taken in at a glance is the fact that light and the directing of light is an essential element of her pictorial objects. She assembles extremely diverse materials, such as sheets of paper dyed by the artist herself and mirror surfaces, in order to incorporate ambient light into her pictorial concept and composition. It is particularly fascinating to experience her box objects in different lighting contexts. Depending on the lighting, surfaces which had previously remained unremarked emerge, or areas which previously lay in darkness light up. Specific hues are often intensified to such a degree that they appear to glow. Vantage point plays a key role in viewing the works: one step forward or back, to the left or right can evoke entirely different or new kinds of visual impressions.
Using carefully calculated artistic means, Grimm succeeds in investing the static structure of her chromatic compositions with an enormous real as well as virtual dynamism on various levels. Light transforms the state of both the work and our perception from the one to the other. Christiane
Grimm’s subtle chromatic and achromatic pictorial objects often elicit astonishment through the interplay and reciprocal effects of their colours, and this stirs our curiosity to acquaint ourselves more closely and intensively with the individual artwork in all its manifestations and the artist’s entire body of work with all its diverse facets.
Dirk Martin