Opening: January 16, 2009, 6-10 pm

Exhibition: January 20 –€“ April 9, 2009



From January 20 to March 20, 2009, under the title –€œAUFTRAG–€, Gabriele Basch is showing her most recent paintings and paper cut-outs at Galerie Uschi Kolb, Karlsruhe. 

Here, the German term –€œAUFTRAG–€ doesn–€™t only refer to the manual process of paint application (Farbauftrag), but a personal mandate (Weisungsauftrag), a command, an order and inner necessity, with which the artist pursues the intention of her work.


In her work, Gabriele Basch is concerned with oppositions between painting and drawing, colour and line, surface and space. She paints on canvas, cuts into paper and goes beyond traditional pictorial formats by staging total installations. For her Karlsruhe exhibition, she has divided the gallery–€™s long wall diagonally into contrasting zones of black and white. In front of this, the large- and small-scale exhibits have a varying impact on the space.


The artist gives shape to the different forms in which memory manifests itself. Gabriele Basch traces the fleeting appearances of everyday life and incidentally glimpsed views. She draws on the formal canon that infiltrates our seeing habits. Ornaments, patterns and structures of the recognisable, a tangle of undergrowth, the grid of derelict architecture, the graphic shapes of tendrils or the fine web of a lace cloth make up the point of departure and model for artistic reception. Our eyes get caught up in the visual pull of these multi-layered pictorial structures and displaced scenarios that elude our immediate grasp like a fleeting breath.


Graphic light/dark contrasts, organic webs, luminous vibrations of colour, splintered fragments of form and rhythmic colour gradations push beyond surface decoration and become fixed in a painterly spatial experience in which a decisive role is played by the colour–€™s light values. In Gabriele Basch–€™s work, colour is no longer understood –€“ as in Western painting from the Middle Ages to Impressionism –€“ as a function of light, but light as a function of colour. It modulates space.


Also Gabriele Basch–€™s paper cut-outs are concerned with issues of light. Light penetrates the floating pictorial membranes of theses cut-outs as through the pattern of a curtain. Like sculpture, the formal arrangement expands into the surrounding space. Gabriele Basch heightens this expansion by colouring the back of the paper cut-outs. Sometimes the black coating on the visible side is plunged into changing shimmers of colour. They recall earlier images and gnaw at our perception. Gabriele Basch constantly superimposes another silver lining. Fleeting light reflections play over the surface of an art form that opens itself entirely to sensual experience.


Dr. Stefanie Dathe


Exhibition view