Ernst Knepper:There are no sign-post for these painters
There are no sign-post for these painters. Depending on their individuality and their own energy and substance they have become explorers we only can follow in their adventures but not keep pace with.
In no-man's land between past and future they are searching and failing, not being sure about the aim but making their way with the confidence in the eternal unexplored.
What else is left to the poor critic - and the spectator - but to set out laboriously, looking for insight where there is still a lack of words and presentiment is more than knowledge.
On the other side we cannot explain anything we ourselves did not experience, so that it might be communicated by language as a link. If we want to talk about paintings, we might lack words. But before the paintings there is the path, and he who has made the first step on it cannot guess its end, but may tell something about this first step. He, however, who wants to follow, may urgently be advised an giving up tills sacred awe by which the stranger is befallen in front of the obscure. This owe connected with art since its origin in a mythical age with prophecies and gods has been destroyed in the already historical epoch of cubism.
Experiencing modern art has nothing to do with elated revelry any longer. Fortuna an her glassy globe has been buried with the ideals. What remained was a questioning and questionable world in which not only physics was made relative. But there where the absolute has been given up we have to look for new critical aspects of the common, which has become uncertain even in its planeness. Art seemed to be one of the safest castles. But the works of art did not only become questionable themselves, but finally all that was called art. Have the great works of art been estimated out of any reasonable cause? Are they really beautiful pictures we are admiring, asks the heretic, and he has no presentiments of the problems hidden there, where the opinion is formed according to a common view and convention, without anybody being able to prove his statement exactly.
It is known by everyone that different people have different opinions about that which should be called beautiful. Analysing such an opinion we have to state three points of view giving impressions we can define as beautiful. Events of the past, present and future may put us into a state of highest intensity of life; the past, the golden fairy-tale of that we once experienced and whose unpleasant sides have fallen info oblivion; the present which confirms our self-confidence we fancy to have, but never do, because a precipitated engagement allays no time for meditation.
When the human being is getting aware of his uncertainly, provided that the perpetual turning around his ego stops far a moment, he in his weakness kneels before that in which he supposes all the trustworthiness he is longing for. An idol, a work of art or one of grandmother's cups can serve this aim with the same intensity, if they just arc thoroughly looked upon as that which they never can be in reality. They keep the human being bock from the abyss of risk, and lead him to the security of illusion. Not even such a raised state of mind can estimate the aesthetical value of any object. Do we ask however what kind
of experience it is, which enables man as the only being in the world to confront himself with the future and to know his ability of forming it, we find the most intense impressions, the strange fascination of the mystery, of a mystery never to be solved but ever revealing and so getting more and more mysterious. An odd paradox, explaining the irresistible fascination of the intellectual discussion about the world, which, the more it is revealing to the understanding intellect, the more it allows to anticipate spheres undiscovered yet. Here adventure and duty meet, risk and existence become brothers, denying and so
compelling each other to ever growing reality. Here the roots of eternal joy are hidden. These are the pleasures, where the work of art shall lead us to. Taking tills for granted you will avoid any contradiction with the classical conception of art, acknowledge the claim for originality, and bring art into relation to that which formerly has been called the first cause. Hegel's phrase is to be understood now, that art shall bring into conscience the highest interests of mind, but ...
Aus Katalog: attila birò / g.c.kirchberger / georg-karl pfahler / friedrich sieber. London: Drian Gallery 1959