Maria Sitte — Text for the exhibition „Metallic“
Basis Projektraum, Frankfurt am Main, 2022
What do the nebulous layers of colour reveal and what shimmers through them? What remains and what disappears from the sensual impression that never finally materialises? These are questions that arise when looking at the abstract painting of the artist Jennifer Bannert. The illusion of various evanescent effects is not a given quality, but must be produced through a variety of artistic, craft and industrial processing techniques. Finding out to what extent playing with surface light phenomena affects perception is part of the artistic investigation.
As a medium or abstract painting, the aluminium painting surface differs from the traditional canvas. It is cool, reflective and colour-repellent. Every application of paint thus becomes an experiment, as evidenced by the wet, shiny sections that have solidified in a liquid state, as well as the dark, watercoloured areas of paint. The diffuse application of paint gives rise to changing associations: from dense clouds of mist, reminiscent of Old Master art, to prismatic refractions of light. This painting is accompanied by a certain sensuality that hints at the traces of the physical act of painting and in the finished work still refers to the process of its creation.
When visually grasping the paintings, however, the first impression often slips away. The materiality of the painting surface plays an important role. The reflective aluminium makes the picture receptive to external reflections – sometimes the viewer is reflected in it in a shadowy way, sometimes external light sources act on the surface. Each view of the pictures therefore only represents a snapshot and constantly opens up new impressions. Ultimately, this optical interplay of material and colour effects creates ephemeral impressions such as shine, transparency and immateriality in a double sense, which do not settle into the existing, but remain constantly in motion.