“Democracy of Color” is the title of an artwork created in 2009. It became the forerunner of an extensive group of works in which the interplay of a multitude of colors determines the dynamics of the pictorial compositions. The “hegemony” of the colors becomes dominant. Formally, these plays with color are organized in the form of circles, which, however, often also appear spatially as balls or spheres. In other cases, the circles of color are combined with seemingly random yet precisely placed lines. In addition, circular and spherical forms in combination with a narrow palette of colors have long ranked among the central motifs, which have been continually used and modified, as in the repeatedly varied “Light Bubbles.”
A discovery in the cemetery of cuddly stuffed animals: bits of fur. They ended up in the trove of materials. Creative experimentation showed that furry scraps and orderly scribbled lines develop a special effect when placed in the right context. Chance naturally comes into play with this genuine natural material. An organic heat accumulator on inorganic picture fields. Beuys went elusively further: he used the hairs from pelts only after they had been processed into felt.
Large, striking forms made of small strokes wandering across the surface as though they were searching for something. This may sound like a contradiction. But as anyone who practices them knows: doodling and scribbling are processes of playful condensation. They begin with coincidences and can lead to results of compelling necessity. Natural models include bare branches or plant tendrils. Yuyal is the Spanish word for “undergrowth.” But this is only one end of the multifarious spectrum. On the other end are embodied vegetal forms and lines that traverse space – traces of light, as in “Walking along in Dark and Bright.” Or dominant forms stand out from the teeming mass of intertwined lines: sign-like unambiguity emerges from ambiguous chaos.
Beatriz von Eidlitz likes to break out of conventional picture formats to the point of occupying whole walls and entire rooms. To this end, she sometimes uses very small picture formats, which she positions on the walls’ surfaces like aesthetic foci of intensity. Multipart works play a major role in the oeuvre of this artist, who has created hangings in which her small pictorial objects spread like swarms across entire walls.
Beatriz von Eidlitz views the confrontation with spatial architecture as a captivating challenge. Opening up spaces and occupying walls with art, treating spaces like substrates for images – conceptions such as these are particularly important to her. “Spatiality and an effect of depth is one goal that I strive toward. I do use clear, solid forms and outlines, but only to transform them again through transparency, spatiality or movement.” (Catalogue, 2007)
With their earthy character, ochre tones belong to the primordial hues of our planet, as do all the countless gradations of black. Ochre in combination with rust tones are also among the basic elements in Beatriz von Eidlitz’s work. The sheer presence of these color values, together with black, evokes elemental associations – whether of landscapes as in the “Seestücke” (2009) with their aleatoric unfolding of forms, in which the movement of the water left its traces during the creation of the paper; whether in fantastic yet formally firmly defined pictorial inventions such as “Into the Space”; or in the “Moon Pictures,” which reflect, sometimes even serially, a bit of the fascination of Earth’s most intimate satellite in the pictorial space. The urban patterns of the “Cityscapes” embody a counterpoint to this.
Phoning and doodling – this is how some of the picture ideas grew in small sketchbooks, which present the viewer with a fascinating ambiguity. Are we seeing bubbles or pebbles, soft or hard, airy foam or rolling stones, organic or inorganic? The next step led to netlike structures, and here again the question arises: vegetal or geological? Beatriz von Eidlitz says: “In the transparency of form toward the unformed and in the interplay of composition and texture, the polarities of the living are revealed to me – plan and chance.”
Argentina meets Austria’s Waldviertel: “This is where my paintings have their ancestors,” said Beatriz von Eidlitz as she stood in front of the colorful rock formations in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. At a paper mill in Waldviertel, on the other hand, she began developing her technique. This adventure started with an attempt to make rag paper by spreading the wet pulp directly onto an iron plate.
As the wet pulp dries on the iron plates, the resulting paper acquires a variety of rust tones through oxidation, which are complemented by color pigments. In addition, found objects such as saws and other iron artifacts were used at the time. Similar to embossed printing, this gave a relief structure to the picture’s surface. Other elements enclosed in the paper – such as wire, straw, or strips of cotton – created the character of material pictures. The rag paper has very special sculptural qualities. It brings out the tension between defined forms and the surface textures created, as if by natural forces, in an especially lively way.
Where do the ideas come from that give rise to images that seem simultaneously representationally tangible yet extremely enigmatic? In the beginning, there was the memory of children paddling on truck tires in the river, long ago on the rio. Then, from 1996 to 1999, the round sculptural shape of the tires transformed in all directions. Entirely different associations arose: Floating underwater creatures? Serial compositions. Pictorial signs of communicative codes? Fantastic objects between technology and nature? A play of forces between the round and the linear..