Friederike Feldmann, born 1962 in Bielefeld, has been using photos as models for her paintings for several years. She focuses on popular and easily recognisable motifs from the history of European art, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Amber Room, or famous Baroque altars. Oriental carpets also belonged to the artist’s motifs. She rendered them in small formats directly onto the wall with pastose oils. In order to avoid the problem of not being able to remove her works from the wall, Friederike Feldmann, a while ago, turned to replacing oil-paint with silicone, which she now dyes with acrylic paint and applies to the wall in a relief-like way using a knife.
In her first solo exhibition, entitled La Chambre de La Reine, the artist now presents seven paintings that were created using selected postcard motifs of Baroque castle interiors as models. The five pictures in the gallery’s central room and entrance space show two variations of an identical room detail of Queen Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom in Versailles with different colours and colour structures (Marie-Antoinette 2, 2003 and Queen's Bedroom, 2003) and the bedroom of her husband (La Chambre du Roi, 2003), as well as two adjacent versions of one and the same room fragment of the Millionenzimmer in the Viennese Schönbrunn Castle (Millionenzimmer 1 and 2, both from 2003).
In the next exhibition room there are two small-format paintings depicting, next to a further variant of the ”Millionenzimmer” motif, a room detail of Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin (Charlottenburg, 2003). These works are also on canvas, but they are not mounted to wedged stretchers and are thus both paintings and sculptural, internally flexible wall objects.
When viewing Friederike Feldmann’s paintings, one notices how they approach the potentiality of painterly abstraction from different levels. The visual impression varies depending on the space between the viewer and the canvas. From a distance, one might perceive the individual constructional elements as isolated from each other. Upon closer examination, however, this distinctiveness is blurred and turns into informal colour material.
Friederike Feldmann’s painting is convincing in that it masters a virtuoso balancing act between informal paint structure, its reference to objects, and a material aesthetics. Her painting is based on a high degree of sensitivity towards the material and the awareness that material always also reflects the medium.
Dr. Annelie Lütgens