Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Brooklyn, New York, USA

The discrepancy between physical fact and psychic effect.

Visual formulation of our reaction to life.

The ratio of effort to effect.

Revelation and evocation of vision.

—Josef Albers

My focus from the beginning has been abstract art. I am attracted to its reduction of the “real” into its essence, its total freedom of formulation and its philosophical foundation, which stimulates the discussion about art. I am drawn to its dynamic symmetry and conscious geometric structure.

Architecture and geometry have always been present in my work; even in earlier works, the underlying matrix was the grid. The grid was less pronounced then, more obscured by layers of color than in the paintings of the last four years (2001-2005).

After September 11, which happened outside my studio window, I seemed to need more structure and clarity. A powerful visual experience is not willed, it only happens in a process of discovery. Horizontal and vertical bands appeared in my work, and in retrospect, I believe that these severe divisions of the space into solely horizontal and vertical lines represented the intense wish to overcome the shock and pain of this time in our history and to transform the paintings into images of power and even beauty. My aim was to create an atmosphere of stillness.

Since the beginning of 2006, my work has again markedly changed, the horizontal and the vertical lines have almost completely disappeared, angled lines over arbitrarily layered color fields give structure and a sense of motion, even more pronounced by my use of aluminum paint, which changes from bright light to a dark grey, giving the surface multi-dimensionality, a kinetic quality.

At the moment, I live inside this work, always ready to reveal the yet unseen, caught in the process of unending adventure.

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