Freedom embraces colour

2003 // by Prof. Dr. Horst Linker

Katrin is a self-taught artist. Or were her teachers her experiences in life? The current art scene is teeming with autodidacts. But Katrin is refreshingly different from most of them, because she can really draw and paint. She knows how to use colour, shape, structure and materials. With her skills, she carries on this craft in all its artistry, never getting lost in trivia. She has the talent, and she puts it to good use.


Or is it, perhaps, more a case of her painting stemming from an inner compulsion? In modern terms: an obsession. For what does being obsessed actually mean? Isn't the best way of being an artist to be driven – to have to write, to compose, to sculpt, to paint? Compulsive artistic activity is not based on superficialities. Not does the artist pursue a purely commercial goal. Much of what is described and marketed as modern art is soulless and, all too often, inane as well. It is pseudo-philosophical and arrogant – butchered by commerce. The hit at this year's Venice Biennale was a silicone sculpture of a humanized sow lying with her thirsty piglets. What's going on!?


In Katrin's paintings you find figures which are unreal but convey the reality of a life. They express feelings that have been experienced, suffered and then reinterpreted in a dreamlike fashion. They are thoughts, pains, hopes, desires and fears. They are embedded in colours, in ornate shapes to make them bearable, to contextualize them. Fear is the primal driving force, the force that triggers myths and religions as the basis of all cultural development. In Katrin's work it is no longer repressed and suppressed but let free and painted. There's shouting and silence, a polarization of feelings, a build-up of power and release of energy: painting as a dissolution of the self, as laceration, dismemberment – for the sake of self-knowledge.


These are not the sort of pictures you can plan, like a painting of the sea or of an Alpine hut with the Watzmann in the background. These paintings evolve in a complete different way, their development is compulsive. They reinterpret colour and tear up shapes for reasons deep within.


Hieronymus Bosch was also an artist who pointed to universal human problems by means of encrypted messages. It was a new emphasis on the individual that opened the way to the depiction of existential problems. If you take a close look at Katrin's paintings – paying no attention to dates and titles – you will see how the process of experiencing changes. How freedom embraces colour and colour freedom; how magnanimity is realized in small formats; how other spaces arise. And much more is possible, because she has no lack of energy and imagination.