Aurelia Gratzer’s world of images is purely a painterly one. The problems of painting history are reflected in her pictures and find their solution in a very subjective approach. For centuries, the purpose of painting used to be to illustrate reality on the canvas – the so-called view from the window. This “illustratability” is the very thing Aurelia Gratzer is deliberately putting to question.
The starting point for her work consists in small-format advertisement objects from magazines. The spaces we encounter here are means to an end. The representation of spaces in central perspective is broken down into individual planes. In fine, meticulous work she develops the approach to her painting rather like a script scenario. The original subject is then in its turn transformed into its own, thrilling three-dimensionality. There is little place for chance or coincidence here, even if Aurelia Gratzer has in recent times consciously deviated from this specified plan.
The central perspective is now conveyed in a slow painting technique structured in layers. The linear features of perspective are not altered, and yet they seem illogical when viewing them, deviating from the specific reality. Perception is always the central element in the art of Aurelia Gratzer.
Can one’s own perception be questioned in any way at all? Aren’t our visual impressions and their interpretation only the elemental and individual reality of each one of us? Can this be reconciled with the reality, perception and interpretation of everyone else?
These are the questions Aurelia Gratzer deals with intensively in her painting; in the charged field between “authentic” capability of illustration, and irritation. Playing a central role is the sense of space, which suddenly casts up the question of perspective, and also the confrontation with binocular vision, which isn’t influenced by central perspective. To explore these areas, she makes use of the elemental medium of painting: colour, two-dimensional painting ground and the brush as painting tool.
Each plane is treated equally, is observed individually, and executed in paint on the canvas without the causal context of size. The irritations felt by the viewer – often only after a longer period of looking – are thus already planted in the painting process. What is rational reality? That is the question behind this process, for reality always relates to two different levels: the level of knowledge and the level of sense perception.
Aurelia Gratzer sees her painting increasingly in relation to abstraction. Since the individual planes appear as equals on the canvas, this results in an egalitarian painterly treatment that alienates the optical nerve from the reality of the rendering. Recognition lies solely in knowing what can be illustrated.
Translation: Abigail Prohaska