Renata Schalcher Atelier RaumZeit


ESSAY    [deutsch]

For over 20 years, Renata Schalcher has taken inspiration from Japanese calligraphy for her sculptures, paintings and installations.  The highly concentrated and yet light handling of the brush on the rice paper is both meditation and inspiration, the ineluctable sources of an oeuvre embedded in the philosophies of the Far East.

Schalcher rolls, forges and welds her sculptures of iron or chromium steel into hollow bodies that show a great diversity of surface textures. They may be archaic and rusty, polished to high-gloss perfection or blackened in the forge with linseed oil. The hollow bodies speak a distinctive, singular formal idiom, ranging from strict and geometric to poetic and organic. They often consist of several parts, sometimes combined with a disconcertingly reflecting section of radiant Plexiglas. They may circle in the wind or form interlocking wholes. They have no predictable pattern, for they are embodiments of the ceaselessly changeable world of nature.

The artist’s paintings are a logical antithesis to her sculptures. Forceful, lucid spaces of colour reveal contradiction and harmony, lightning, clouds and raindrops, interacting colours, searing light and darkness. This mélange is teeming with tiny beings, dancing elves, droll sprites and frightful monsters, bringing the paintings to life and adding a dimension to them that bridges the distinction between painting and sculpture.

The drawings are more tranquil. Expansive, sweeping lines in ink, charcoal or graphite, some with shades of colour underneath, divide the strictly right-angled support into harmonious compositions with spacious areas of emptiness, a crucial component of traditional Japanese and Chinese painting. The drawings, independent and charismatic works in their own right, often provide the mental impetus for sculptures or paintings.