The Rust: One of the Visions of Beatriz von Eidlitz

Contribution of Juni 17, 2021
"The crazy suicide 
passed by and 
returned the water of colors 
to nature; 
but who will 
return it to him?”
Antonin Artaud: “Van Gogh, 
the man suicided by 

One of the revolutionary changes that Homo faber set in motion by subjecting nature to his purposes is the discovery of paper; another is that of metal. Paper changed the world so drastically that someone could write that the whole universe could be found in a library. Metal too, once it was brought out of the earth and artificially processed, was altered and falsified. This led to the adage in many languages: “All that glitters is not gold.” The decay expressed in rusting iron has often been described on paper as the bliss of dissolution and the escape from civilization’s manacles. But beyond this, rust in the work of Beatriz von Eidlitz becomes a way to feel color. The border between the natural and the artificial manifests itself in rust, which is the ruddy product of retribution, the revenge that nature demands by for the fact that man has stolen from stone and manipulated it. Along this border, the artist creates a world where abstraction and extreme emotionality are the only legitimate forms of language, a realm where content and form fuse, where textures are magical expressions, deceptive faces, born from chaos, breaking through the extreme peace of pure form.

As a daughter of her era, this artist refuses to rob the colors from nature. But her world of white and black is open to the intrusion of a memory of color that embraces all hues: rust. In this universe, rust is the chromatic representation of an organic and inorganic process, from white to black, from birth to death. It is the gesture of the autumn of existence; today, and perennially; in each individual life and in the whole of humanity.

The rust of iron, as a form of decay of human technologies, is only the remembrance of the rust of organic nature. The leaf of a tree reveals all colors in the course of time; it transforms and is taken back into the process of life, through all deaths. Rust relentlessly and comprehensively reminds us of all the colors that exist and could be lost forever. Abstraction delights us with its forms and the memory of color, while simultaneously expressing a tragedy that is free from any time-bound drama or interpretation, because it occurs not only today, but is and has always been the dilemma of man. The artist shows a limit, a difficulty, and she overcomes the dilemma by transforming it into a boundless universe, where form is both expression and means, where rust is not only an object to stimulate visual perception, but also as an impulse to catalyze memory and free association.

Marta Binetti on the exhibition “Oxidations,” FORAUM Gallery, Munich (1990)