Dorothea von Elbe
Rythm, Structure, Leaves
There are artists who have the ability to unveil the world. A few strokes, a splash of water, and a revelation occurs. Capturing the essence of things is sudden, it happens like a Satori or Zen awakening, but sudden things are always the result of experimentation. How many attempts, how much concentration did Mugi Fuchang require in order to reach perfection in his Six Persimmons? His traces of ink, some thick and some barely there, seem to be the product of spontaneity. The effort is not visible, because it doesn’t have to be: the artist’s work is to document the state of the world. A few leaves that were picked in the mountains and a flower next to a swamp become the language that explains the passing of time.
Dried Leaves and Carnations was the title that Mario Mafai gave to one of his paintings. The elements of the painting don’t intertwine and seem to float in space. The artist tried different arrangements until reaching visual harmony. During this process, several days passed. The carnations bent and lost their arrogance, but not their meaning. It was 1934, and the dense, cloud-like shadows that the carnations project seem to predict a dark time.
Ellsworth Kelly included grapevines in his sequence Leaves. In one of those paintings, the leaves are four dramatic black stains that make the paper look whiter than it is. This is an unusual representation of this plant, as it is most commonly associated with the sun, which ripens the grapes. Ellsworth Kelly uses this technique to submerge us in the joyous and swaying contour of a grapevine.
The work of Mugi Fuchang, Mafai and Kelly constitute a series of references for the work of Dorothea von Elbe that is currently exhibited in Galería Rafael Ortiz. Just like these artists did, von Elbe intends to capture an instance and to document it. The pieces express the paradoxical through the obvious. They explain the simplicity of the mechanisms of nature by means of highly refined expressive techniques.
To walk… to watch… to capture he image of things… to narrate their identity.