The Atlantic in the Crypt
Nature and its elements are a source of inspiration for Clara Gesang-Gottowt. In her paintings the viewer can sense fragments of nature. Often merely suggested, starting to dissolve, like memories that reveal themselves, only to recede. She sees by painting. To paint, for her, is to see. Experiences of nature become powerful because she sees in them something which she wishes to pass on to others. Through the fragments of nature and through the actual process of painting she comes into contact with that which is greater and which guides the viewer to this seeing.
Her technique is to open up to the image, see the unpredictable emerge, and follow it. She stops in a place where the intellect and the emotions are still stimulated, where her gaze wishes to go on seeing.
She has long painted the sky with it its shifting, changing disposition. She has encircled the atmospherical where wind and eye meet. Now, she approaches the sea. In preparation for the exhibition in the crypt she worked on a painting in egg tempera, a technique she had not yet tested. Now the image became more than unpredictable, rather, chaotic. Impossible to ascertain its worth. It needed to rest. The artist took it up again and discovered its qualities. This painting will now be a part of the exhibition in the crypt. The title of the painting is “Sea”. To approach the sea means, for Clara Gesang-Gottowt, to also approach a personal memory of grief and loss. Out of the sea life is born. The sea can also take lives. Here the forces of vitality and chaos meet. Beauty and risk. The body and the unknown.
The crypt is one of the most beautiful rooms, says Clara Gesang-Gottowt. A room where you can breathe deeply. Where there is something that touches you. At first dramatically and charged. Then, still charged but also more of a home. She draws closer to what this room stands for by painting specifically for this place. The brush strokes are allowed to be visible thus meeting traces of the mason’s handwork in the carved stone with its structure and its play of colour.
Art can also help a person to breathe more deeply. To be still in the presence of something that matters. To be where beauty and risk meet. The paintings invite us to stand on the borderline between the known and the unknown. To dare to do so. To have the courage to see and to wait for the moment in which the perspective changes and the one who is seeing becomes the one who is being seen.