JOAN WITEK – extended until 01 August!
25. April - 1. August
“I am attracted to black because of the beauty of the color and for me, its infinite variety. It is a color that has been my inspiration since I began painting.” | Joan Witek
Immediately, Joan Witek’s works speak intensely to our sensibilities: strong and delicate, oppressive and expansive, clear and intangible, meditative and expressive, rational and emotional – all the contrasting qualities of black are formulated in her works.
Be it with wax crayon, oil or acrylic paint, on parchment, foil or canvas: Joan Witek carefully works out the respective peculiarities of her diverse materials, which gives her works a strong haptic appeal. One can almost feel the crumpled rice paper, the velvety pastel pencil, the floating of watercolor on foil, or the soaking of ink into soft handmade paper.
Not only in terms of color, but also formally, the paintings live from the deliberate reduction of means: few lines, surfaces or a clear structure focus on the relationship between compression, closedness and opening as well as proportions. The interplay of geometrically developed, hand-created forms and those found through the material makes the works so exciting and accessible.
Joan Witek borrows her picture titles from various sources – for example, “Transfigured Night” after Robert Dehmel’s poem Verklärte Nacht. The short titles often include a variety of references, just as Transfigured Night, for example, refers to hope in terms of content, carries a lyrical rhythm, and at the same time calls Arnold Schönberg’s setting of the poem to mind. In this way, the titles do justice to the intensity and the multi-layered levels of meaning of the concrete works.
Joan Witek, *1943, lived and worked in New York City until 2019 and now in Yucatán, Mexico.
With works from the SAMMLUNG SCHROTH and loans from gallery Bartha Contemporary as well as private collectors from New York and London, the exhibition provides an overview of her work.
Image: Joan Witek, Untitled (P-163), 2013, Oilstick on Canvas, 114,3 x 186,7 cm © Works and qotation (source: www.joanwitek.org/about, accessed 31.03.2021): 2021 Joan Witek / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York