ZUCKERSCHLECKEN (A WALK IN THE PARK)
Marianne Lindow works in cycles that develop thematically out of received impressions and subsequent research. From experiences and perceptions, early pencil sketches emerge. These, in turn, lead to more precise image concepts. In further works on paper – in the case of the cycle ZUCKERSCHLECKEN, these are done in oil on paper – possible color combinations, application techniques, and structures for the canvas are plumbed. Gouaches are created that, partly through collage or with an impossibly thin coat of paint, develop their own individual expressive potential. They communicate the rigorous conceptual point of departure that Marianne Lindow pursues through her work.
The four large-format paintings that make up ZUCKERSCHLECKEN I – IV, were all created in 2008. They were not born of a spontaneous gesture, but rather display a kind of cool and distanced precision that, given the truncated theme, opens up a broad area of internal conflict. A moment of physical and mental helplessness is made apparent through the bodies portrayed: all are lying down, unconscious or asleep, nearly naked. This stirs up anxieties that exist within every living creature. It is part of the survival instinct. Even without concrete personal experience, the situations of unconsciousness and dependency shown in the pictures can be understood as perilous. The instruments and scenery of modern first aid- and medical apparatuses, which relate to the bodies in undefined spaces, fail to make us feel any better. Human existence itself is embedded in an impersonal, yet possibly life-saving environment. While associations with illness and death are in the background, they are never actually verified in any picture.
The closed, virtually hermetic, formal solution that Marianne Lindow chooses in order to fully realize this theme is what gives the cycle its main focus. The controlled method of paint application, which only allows occasional glimpses of the artist’s personal style, serves to prevent the viewer from empathizing with the figures; feelings slide right off the surface of the canvas.
Even the baby in his cubicle – it looks more like a shop window display than an incubator – maintains the farthest possible distance from emotional accessibility. Nevertheless, above and beyond the initial horror, the inventory that is the basis of the images shows a resistance that is introduced via the painterly use of technique. Through the conceptual stringency of the works, the multi-layered composition of motifs is developed. Along with the initial reaction of shock, this then gives rise to a concept of resistance and potential.
Regina Schultz-Möller, 2008
Press release for the exhibition ZUCKERSCHLECKEN (A WALK IN THE PARK) in the gallery moeller, Bonn.