”My central concern is to enable people to have a break and enjoy the peaceful but energetic atmosphere my works hopefully can cause!”
I’m an abstract painter.
Forty years ago, when I bought my first records of Keith Jarrett, an American piano player and a small book, Zen in the Art of Archery by the German philosopher, Eugen Herrigel, i couldn’t estimate the profound and unexpected impact these writings and music would have on me and my work. I look for the sound of colours. I try to paint... sound.
From the beginning on my work was always influenced by music. Music supports me, often it initialises the process of painting.
However, over the years my work changed and developed and the meaning of the space between, the meaning of the “breaks“ became increasingly important. The solo improvisations of Jarrett are dedicated to the sound and mainly to the moments of silence when a tone can sound. So, it is the change into the silence, the change between fullness and emptiness which makes this music so powerful.
I try the same with my artwork. I try to show fullness in emptiness or emptiness in fullness. Zen Buddhism taught me to realise the meaning of rhythm. In Zen teachings, rhythm means primarily the breathing, the inhale/exhale exchange, fullness and emptiness.I paint my paintings in an inversive process - I breathe the paint and it breathes back.
I watch the paint and it watches back.
I hear the paint and it sounds back.
Abstract Painting is the way to the substance.
Abstract Painting is the result of the artists search for inner needs.
As well as his own inner needs as the needs of the subject he handles with.
William Turner discovered this possibility in the middle of the 19th century, Hilma af Klint generated the courage to go on this way, Wassiliy Kandinsky continued and wrote the declaration. (“Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, 1912). Agnes Martin is the ambassador and most influential to me.
Abstract Painting for me is an event and result of distillation.
It shows the essence and generates the initial, the zero point.
It generates a nothingness which can develop everything.
Abstract Painting is the nexus between mind and matter.
Please find below small video footage about the artist.
SOLÈNE wants the viewer to explore and understand the world of each artist by entering their studio life, their daily exploration or even a show, a project that has marked them but more generally SOLÈNE’s vision is for the viewers to see what inspire them, their artistic process and what they wish to share and transmit.
You mention that sound and painting, ears and eyes, eyes and ears are inter-connected, how would you describe transmitting this in your paintings?
It’s mainly the beauty of music which accompanies me during the long sessions which are needed to do my paintings. I always hear music when I work on my paintings - so actually the music generates some specific circumstances which leads me to find the colours and conditions which make up the appearance and mood of each painting.
Your technique is quite specific, when you paint and then pencil onto the paint and the canvas in the way and form you create, are you influenced by the rhythm of the music itself in your pattern?
Yes - just as I described above in question 1 - it’s a bit like a meditation or some “exercitium“ - a circular process, like breathing. a return to a zero position, back to the source…may be these patterns are “breath traces”?
"Artwork is a representation of our devotion to life.“ is a quote by Agnes Martin which expresses a bit what I mean, what I feel. Music is the most abstract and at the same time the most effective kind of arts. It touches directly our hearts or/and minds.
For you, abstract painting is a nexus between mind and matter, what do you mean by this?
Yes, definitely! If (any) artwork arises out of real inner needs/imperatives it enables us to perceive …“spirit“ enables us to have some encounter with ourselves, our core/zero point.
Some of your art works are called Speicher which means Energy. What some of energy, spiritual energy you wish to transmit as an artist, as a being and through your creation?
Probably it is “spiritual energy” is what I would like to transmit. I like to create a possibility to be thrown back on ourselves, to re-find ourselves. I think this is one main requirement for any wellbeing. May be that it sounds a bit too much pathetic but since I started painting since I have been a child, it was my main aim to gladden people.
In the best case, my works transmit the mirth or bliss I feel during my work sessions.
When I look at your paintings, I feel a huge time must be required to create the pattern you achieve on your pieces. How long an average piece takes you?
The “official” answer should be (recommended by my son!): “it took me about thirty years to be able to do that kind of works”! That means I surely could claim that it lasts about two weeks to do a size like you have in your flat… but that would be a lie and I definitely hate lying. Fact is that oil colour has an average drying time of about 48 hours (depending on some additives…) So twenty years ago it was a big challenge to finish that big works in this short time. In between, after all this years, my skills has developed and so honestly spoken a piece like the big speicher lasts about 12 - 14 hours for the last layer. But, also honestly spoken, although I am quite exhausted after 12-14 hours straight working , I am also always quite sad when I finished a piece.
I have a piece in my own home and I feel personally, a lot of strong, passionate energy and yet some sort of peaceful mindset coming from it, would you agree?
Wonderful, that’s exactly what I am trying and wishing to achieve - thanks a lot for this statement. Just have a break whilst watching at my paintings. If you (people) are prepared to take some time it should be possible to discover some inner peace and mirth.