Once there was a time in my life when I was deeply drawn to the 19th century and the century before it, to its romanticism and beauty. I fell in love with the architecture, the literature, – especially the Russian one, the paintings, the romance, and I believe I’m still a romantic person at times, but there was always more.
As I began to study art history, embraced all things from the 19th century. Fortunately, by chance or fate, I lived in the dream town to do that .. reveling in a bygone era, in the German Disneyland of this century: Baden-Baden. Beauty never goes out of style. And, in my eyes, Baden-Baden is unmatched in its beauty.
New York, might be the city with a vibe unlike any other, defies comparison.
And so is Baden-Baden as a town, incomparable to anything anywhere, in its quiet beauty, a place that leaves you in pure awe for eternity
I’m someone who loves to ignite a fire from a spark, and Baden-Baden meant much more to me than just a spark, I think, for everyone. So, there was this immense love for the 19th century, too; it was a wonderful enchantment. And, fortunately, be it fate or coincidence, there was always more.
As I started studying and attended Art Basel in Basel Switzerland for the first time, it offered a completely different perspective from the insights and feelings I gained at university. Everything at university revolved around the history of European art, with a lot-lot of focus on Italy and less on Dutch, German, and French art and artists.
All about : The roots.
Des Pudels Kern. Des Teufels Eichhörnchen.
But in Basel, there were two artworks that captured my attention, my heart, more than any other artwork. It was September 2019. Well, yes, and it was actually one month before I began my studies. And I had no clue.
Two artworks by two completely different American artists. One was a painting by Robin Francesca Williams, based in Brooklyn, New York, represented at P.P.O.W. gallery, younger than me.
The other was an installation by Dan Flavin. Pink and bright, placed on the floor, not on the wall, as he preferred his artwork to directly face the viewer.
Dan Flavin, born in 1933 in New York State, lived until 1996, and is considered a minimalist artist, something I never quite understood because he was, is, able to evoke such strong emotions with his style of art.
Minimalism, but more is more, and less is a bore!
Do we really need to categorize everything we see, feel, and experience? But let it be as it is, – as a kind of art too. Philosophical. But with a far from minimal impact. Dan!
The repetition of individual elements, combined into a single work, can be the minimal part.
The geometry, simplified, straight, often slender, can be the minimal part.
The tranquility, even with fluorescent light, sometimes in a multitude of colors in an artwork of this considerable dimensions, can be the minimal part.
Nichts ist so aufreizend wie Gelassenheit .. „Lack the look of history,“ these installations, as Dan once put it, „but are light itself.“ He wanted them to be recognizable in one way or another, an artwork that doesn’t dictate a specific direction but can be seen in various ways.
A suggestion rather than an explanation.
A guess in art.
An installation. A sculpture too? „I think Flavin wants … a particular phenomenon.“ „Lumination was, is, the phenomenon.”
A sense of wonder, an event.
I want that too!
By fate, coincidence or chance.
More is more. Less is a bore.
Inspired by Richard Shiff’s „Writing after Art“ . Zwirner Books . And, of course, Dan Flavin’s installations. I saw the last one in Denver, where I’m right now. Again.