Opening 23 Nov. 17-21
Abstract from Jens Asthoff
Views on Pictures
Aurelia Sellin's Painting
Italian mountain villages, picturesque facades reflecting on the water under low-hanging branches, the lakeside setting sun: a great deal of Aurelia Sellin's subject matter is derived from Italian postcard idylls.
Postcards depict locations that are meant to be remembered; places whose beauty is so worthwhile that they are eternalized in a picture. Not only does it utilize the aesthetic of traditional landscape painting, the common postcard also simplifies its subject matter, often resulting in mere clichés. Sellin derives her subject matter, as well as her conceptual starting point, from such picture-perfect postcards of impressive nature idyll and village-atmosphere.
Her paintings seem to connect two contradictory tendencies: On the one hand, her paintings are restricted to minimal actualizations - a simplicity brush strokes. On the other hand, Sellin abstracts an thus accentuates that which often makes the picture atmospheric - that which is seen as "picturesque". The choice of such subjects, often sections of pictures, is dependent on specific formalized-criteria that she in applies by intuition in her practice. In this context it should be noted that Sellin never paints the subject as a whole, but uses only elements that appear capable of accentuation.
Sellin typically focus her attention on the imagery of water, boats, mountains, fishing-villages etc. She compares these to "subjects in still-life painting". These too remain identical, depending on the genre, and differ only in the way they are perceived by the painter. Her intention is not realistic representation of these images - although they are representational, her paintings are reduced to such a minimum that they border on the nonrepresentational. This can also be seen in paintings in which she references Paul Cézanne. Like Cézanne, Sellin resolves the space of the composition into colours while concentrating on a few subjects and themes.
In her references to both idyllic postcards postcards and to the work of Paul Cézanne, she directs our view to certain elements within the original composition. Through the removal of the initial context, she changes the importance of and our relationship to her initial reference point. Thereby bringing forth a new composition that is both a mere fragment of the original and a new whole.
Aurelia Sellin's goal is not simply to paint but to put into practice this radical simplicity of painting. One could say that Sellin produces paintings in order to describe paintings.
Abstract from Jens Asthoff - Views on Pictures - Aurelia Sellin's Painting Press Release as pdf-File 47,3 KB