Works 1992 – 2001

The tension in Gerken-Grieshaber’s images is remarkable due to the underlying antagonism. Unlike here earlier pencil drawings, she now works with charcoal and acrylic paints straight from the bottle, directly on to the paper. This technique creates fine threads in bold movements, which makes the figurative components appear as if they have been drawn with a crayon. In sections, colours were also applied with wide strips of cardboard: drawing and painting create an intense fusion: figural drawings from an expressive force. Helga Gerken-Grieshaber uses the reduction of the physical to concentrate and liberate the basics. The starting point of her work is the assurance of one’s own existence, the reflection in the mirror, tracing development and being. “Even when the images are not strictly speaking self-portraits, the implacability of assuring oneself is evocate of the obsessive consequence, as is visible in artists such as Rembrandt or van Gogh whose constant gazes into the mirror are reflecting in the substance and transition of their existence.” (Dr. Hans Gercke)

“Her graceful combination of acrylic paints and crayon — also called “lust” and “frustration” images — show, in addition, a deep understanding of life, of people and of their social environments. Because art just fulfils their meaning — not only to please, but also to introduce the being of things, understanding what rouses spirit and mind. The images need space: The artist deliberately uses white paper for the composition of the drawing. This way she gets a bright shade of blue, a subtle shade of red, and a softened shade of black. Helga Gerken-Grieshaber playfully lets the lines attracted to the mass of colours find their own range. The delicate additional use of crayon gives it its finishing touch.” (Marga Kohr)

The white of the paper is no longer just a canvas, but also a constituent space of a light in which energy is materialised, incarnate, concrete, erotic — and still not actually comprehensible. Reality is articulated as that which is real. The presence of the moment. “Everything has disappeared which could be artistic as an end in itself, but what remains is the unbelievable virtuosity which Helga Gerken-Grieshaber creates in association with the artistic means of today. The fact that these means are ahead of all other drawings is no surprise: The drawing, the direct deposit of bodily movements, physical expression, this is probably the most fundamental form of artistic communication of all” (Dr. Hans Gercke)

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