writing by Karen Zadra for the online exhibition ´RIVERSIDE`, 2022, Galerie Karen Zadra, Swiss/Australia 

We are very pleased to present three of Claudia Larissa Artz’s recent series on paper in this exhibition, Riverside. The title of the show was inspired by Artz’s connection to the Rhine in her native Cologne; its banks and flowing water offer her the space she needs to quietly contemplate her artistic ideas and theories.
Across these series Artz explores notions of space, shape, rhythm, movement and structure which symbolize a searching for relation and connection, either within or external to the world. Artz’s use of ground pigments play an important role in the execution of the works because of the element of unpredictability in how they flow onto the paper and how they dry down. This unpredictability is in stark contrast to her otherwise precisely considered approach; Artz must remain sensitive to the work as it develops and respond to its evolving presence. This requires a flexibility in thinking, a willingness to ‘go with the flow’, and if necessary, jettison her original vision.
This ebb and flow between artist and artwork requires humility on the part of the artist in order to maintain a certain lightness in the work. Here, the influence of Japanese culture can be seen in Artz’s work: restraint, humility, patience. Indeed, the two 2022 series, for Bashô and japanese landscape are directly inspired by Japanese poetry and art.
We are delighted to also show Bilder der fließenden Welt, 2020 (Images of a floating world) because of its Australian connection. This series was conceived for an exhibition in Berlin with Australian artist, Arryn Snowball. A choreography based on the circle, it is an expression of coming together and letting go.
For now, we invite you to read the artist statements on each series below. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information on the artist or her works.

‚for Bashô‘, 2022, 12 works on paper, pigments, gouache, pencil on paper, each 29.7 x 21 cm.
An open series, for Bashô, was started in June 2022, and is a reflection and transformation of Haiku into a shape, colour, atmosphere and rhythm. I take the formal aspects of Haiku poems (Edo period 1603-1868) as a frame, expressing abstract emotions in a visual language of nature. Haiku poems are written in 3 group of words with just 17 syllables, 5:7:5. Haiku content is concrete and shows a piece of nature, a unique moment or situation (seasonal event) and an act of being present. The shape of the poem and the empty space in between are as important as the words itself. In the world of Haiku, the human being is a part of nature, is nature itself. There is no dualism. It can absorb and reflect in its short and brief words the abstract emotions of the human being. Sadness, yearning, happiness, loneliness. In my paper works, I reflect the yearning of being human to being at one with the world and nature. Each morning I write a dairy of the weather while looking out of my window. I transform my abstract emotions into visual experience by using a sheet of paper with the formal aspects of Haiku, one pigment (blue), gouache and the white of the paper.

‚japanese landscape, 2022, 8 works on paper, pigments, acrylic, linoleum, monoprint of watercolour paper, each 50 x 35 cm.
Japanese landscape are fragments out of a horizontal image. They play with space and movement and atmosphere without representing a real landscape. The linear short brushstrokes interrupt the perception of depth. The colour in the background is the sound of the atmosphere.

‘Bilder der fließenden Welt’, (‘Images of a floating world’) 2020, 27 works on paper; acrylic, pigments, 29.5 x 21 cm.
Saying goodbye and letting go, a deeply human experience, were the impetus for the 27 works on paper ‘Images of a floating world’, which I created between February 16 and May 29, 2020. With each different coloured paper, I confronted myself with this flat space and a simple form, the circle. It seems like a choreography of figures in a limited space. They attract and repel each other; they struggle for unity or break down. This tension, which I call ‘opposing forces’, is at the same time the condition for this movement, the energy with which it is discharged within the surface. Each time the constellation seems to be absolute, it dissolves again in order to form itself anew, again and again, driven by a longing for wholeness, and unity, perpetually dissolving in order to form anew. It is driven by a longing for wholeness, for unity, yet doomed to fail. A dynamic of tension from static/movement, line/surface, light/dark, light/shadow and inside/outside characterizes my painting through abstract geometric shapes in a natural colour climate. Due to the fine and economical application of the pigments, by leaving the canvas structure open, the picture surface begins to breathe. The resulting transparency of the colours oscillates between light and dark, between light and shadow.
The three series are different in their outcomes, but they have something in common: they are working with space, shape, rhythm, movement and structure which symbolize a searching for relation, connection, inside or outside with the world.