press release

Silva Reichwein. TELEGONE
28.10.2017 - 09.12.2017

In her first solo show at Galerie Christine Mayer, Silva Reichwein presents a selection from three bodies of work that she directly juxtaposes both in spatial and conceptual terms. On view in the front and back sections of the gallery are four large-format paintings from her series Telegone (Telegon 30 (rhythm for 4 triangles), Telegon 31 vol 1+2 (rhythm change, colour sequence change) (both 2016) and Telegon 33 (colour stay – play/ T26 reloaded) (2017)), as well as two works from the series music: the constellations of small-format pictures music 24 and music 24 (solitaires 1-4) (both 2017). The four ‘solitaires’ were produced in conjunction with music 24 but in the end not integrated into the series. A selection of scores (Partituren (C.M.-Reihe), 2017) is displayed in the passage room as a combining element. They were created in parallel to the Telegone and music and provide insights into their formation process.
The Telegone, after which the entire exhibition is named, simultaneously function as pars pro toto on a conceptual level. The term ‘telegon’ constructed by Silva Reichwein can be freely translated as ‘at a distance to geometry’ (Greek tele = afar and gonia = angle) and exemplarily stands for the complex method she applies that leads to her pictorial compositions. The focus is on the logic of colour, or to be more specific, the rhythmization of colour in the painting.
In the case of the four exhibited Telegone, this is done by first dividing the canvases into a grid of 17 x 17 square fields. Silva Reichwein then computes various dimensional ratios based on a predefined numerical sequence in the attendant Partituren [Scores], from which the contrast relations of the colours, the alteration between sharpness and fuzziness, and other features are derived. This results in a ‘moveable grid’, as she calls it, a web of potential relations that in regard to its design can indeed be compared to methods used to generate digital images. This approach also marks the significant difference of this apparently shimmering colour field painting to the concrete-abstract pictorial concepts of her predecessors. It is, instead, much closer to musical composition methods.
The same applies to music 24. What in purely optical terms may remind one of Op Art or Marcel Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs, also functions primarily via numerical ratios and the arrangements of dots on a surface. In contrast, her production method is quite mechanical: The canvases about the size of a 7“ record are first placed on a turntable. Reichwein then positions a brush with a colour of her choice on the canvas rotating at a speed of 33rpm, with the pressure applied to the canvas determining the colour distribution. While the key compositional elements of the Telegone are determined by numerical sequences, the size of the squares and the width of the lines, rotation and the structuring of the colour are crucial in music 24. In the Telegone, Silva Reichwein lends time to colour through the structure of the sequences; here, the colour is lent speed through the use of technology. Decisive for the subsequent spatial arrangement of the paintings of music 24, which can basically be produced ad infinitum, are ratio calculations of the wall surface and three different distances according to an again predefined sequence, with the number 24 in the work’s title implying the intervals between the 25 paintings. But the relation between image and space as well as the human body also plays a significant role in the Telegone. They are not only oriented towards the body dimensions of the artist, the effect of zooming in and out created by the alternation between sharpness and blurring gives rise to ever new images when viewing the works.
The Partituren (from the Italian partitura = division into parts) serve Silva Reichwein as both notations and instructions in the musical sense. Their combinations of numbers, words, geometrical shapes, and colours substantially contribute to the ideas informing the pictures and their titles. Only the ‘colour tuning’ of a specific Telegon is shown as an original score (oil on canvas), while the other scores are generally exhibited as copies. The latter allows presenting ever new constellations and reference structures between them. The individual paintings and drawings on display thus stand for themselves, while simultaneously revealing network-like interconnections that are intensified by their arrangement in the gallery space.

The catalogue Sine Grey. Eine audiovisuelle Anordnung, ed. by Martin Lorenz and Silva Reichwein with Susanne Prinz from the Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V., Berlin, has been published and is available at the gallery during the exhibition.

Fiona McGovern / translated by Karl Hoffmann