Valencia, Spain, 1936. She lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Monika Buch, a reference of geometric abstraction, was the first and only Spaniard to study at the HfG of Ulm (Ulm School of Design), an institution directed by Max Bill and conceived as heiress of the revolutionary Bauhaus.
In 1956, after finishing her studies at the German School in Barcelona, her mother presented her a press clipping with an article from “Die Zeit” about the inauguration of Max Bill’s new building for the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG), which prompted her to travel to the German city of Ulm and study at that school between 1956 and 1958.
After her time in Ulm, she moved to Utrecht where she studied Pedagogy and Child Psychology. For two years she focused her activity on the field of toy design in the Dutch factory ADO, but from 1972 she devoted herself exclusively to her artistic work, with research focused on the form-color interrelation.
Her work is based on what she learned at HfG. In the artist’s own words:
“I always start from an idea or a question that I want to solve. I’m interested in perception: what I see and why, that’s why I like to work on a subject with variations. Aesthetics are important but many times are secondary. A work can be beautiful or pleasant to see, but for me it has to have something more, something interesting that attracts your attention or that attracts your gaze every time and makes you want to discover what it is that worries you”.
“In my everyday life I am always looking around me, discovering shadows and reflections. And I ask myself, where do they come from? What is it I see? How do we interpret what we see with our eyes? We could say that looking is one thing and seeing is a completely different thing. The eyes look and the brain interprets the signs it receives from the eyes. In my work as an artist, I try to work with these two aspects. I use geometry in line drawing, a type of drawing that rarely poses problems for interpretation. But when I add colors, which are almost always a whole range of colors, the drawing then takes on a more three-dimensional appearance that may produce ambiguity in the way the image is interpreted”.