Catalog Jens-Martin Neumann, art-historian, Kiel
"Everything is in flux and nothing stands still"
Many viewers may initially find it difficult to access the works of Iris Resch-Grimm. Forms and colours do not originate from the realm of our known reality; there are no figures, no landscapes, no narration and no explanations, so apparently no meaning - just empty, expansive paintings. The creative and associative possibilities involved in such an abstract or more precisely in something concrete was once expressed by the American colour field painter, Mark Rothko, thus: "the vagueness of the structure in painting obliterates memory and releases recollection".
So it seems reasonable to understand the works primarily from the inherent reality of the painting, from its material, texture, surface and colourful appearance. Iris Resch-Grimm uses crushed tissue paper, bleached beeswax and fixed colour pigments, and with these, sand, varnish and gold dust. She works using her fingers, with brush and spatula, coarse and fine tools, applies fluid pastes in several layers, smoothes, rubs, dries, scratches and polishes. The result is uneven, dappled patches of colour, with crusty surfaces which sparkle in places, or are porous and are cracked. Her art is distinguished by the momentum of gesture as much as the conscious sacrifice of reflecting on the structure of a painting. With artistic movement, she creates spontaneous, restrained yet impulsive paintings with the incongruent appearance of materials which bear witness to visibly turbulent signs of the temperamental act of painting. Then the entire surface of the painting is filled with an open expansive field of natural-looking raw materials and this field represents a vast and iridescent surface of colour.
Although there is no intended principle of composition and it is predominately without the usual horizontal and vertical lines of orientation, there are crucial remnants of a formal hierarchy in the structure of the paintings. The colourful appearance of materials intensifies in the middle of the painting, focuses its energy here and radiates from the centre while the arched blocks of colour hark back to a physical gesture and therefore to the whole painting.
Always prepared to plumb the depths of the most varied artistic means of expression with complete openness and curiosity and yet with great seriousness, Iris Resch-Grimm's material experiments have taken her from the early works with traces of rust and self-manufactured organic paper to today's wax pictures. Here, form, colour and structure have always developed out of purely artistic problems in a process in which she is true to the painting materials and not the other way round. Here, the painting obeys the stipulations of its creator only to a certain extent, the more however, the essentials dictated by the tools and materials, as well as the many co-incidences acknowledged by her. Iris Resch-Grimm will and must fall in line with this process. With the help of the influential appearance of the materials, she is picking out the gestures as a central theme, for, more important than self-expression of pigments, wax and colour is the artist's dialogue with these resources. During this dialogue she assists the initially unformed art materials to form a language which must first be coaxed from these materials. The picture is found unequivocally while painting, therefore it transmits a frozen snapshot of its creation - as a principal witness of physical movement - in free composition of the colour structure and tense carvings onto the "skin" of the painting; the action involved in painting and the process of creating a painting are inextricably connected. This dynamic approach also sets tight boundaries for interpretation of content. It is not the psyche which dominates here, but it is the hand which enters into a relationship with the field of action of the painting's base.
Iris Resch-Grimm's works renounce a pictorial event and focus on the action between the painting and the viewer. Although they do not abandon the abstract, associative elements are introduced which can open up extensive areas of fantasy. With the help of compressed paste to form raised ridges and carved fissures or by using expansive monochrome of blue tones and yellowy-green panels somewhat thoughtfully devised analogies of clefts, fissures and erosions in the earth's surface, or lush and prolific nature or threatening cloud formations can be created. Blocks of colour, atmosphere and flow can, as a result, become expressive bearers of muted emotions.