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Anne Salz                 

ON COLOUR            

 

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About myself

I started following music lessons as a child and soon it was said that I was musically talented. I played soprano and alt recorder when this instrument became fully accepted. It was the time of Frans Brüggen. Baroque music became my passion and I liked to play melodies of Teleman, Händel and especially lots of Vivaldi. A part of my education at the Pedagogical Academy, I also followed three years classes at a music conservatory. I had private lessons for recorder from Ricardo Kanji and Marjan Banis – two outstanding musicians in this area. Currently I do not play music any more, but rather I spend my time painting.

I find it fascinating that colour can be concrete and magical at the same time. The characters of colours, which in essence are constant, show qualities according to the context in which they are placed. The mutual interactions, as well as the communication with the observer who looks at them, are dynamic, in the moment, never identical and therefore so intriguing. When painting I embark upon an inspiring discovery journey along innumerable variations of colours. Just as sounds become a musical piece and an experience in time, born by our spirit, painting becomes an experience of colours with identical characteristics. The totality of colours performs a spectacle, which touches upon our feelings and instincts and influences them.

At the moment (2004) I work on a series ‘Painted songs’, in which music and recollection are the central themes. Along with the paintings I elaborate an accompanying text, to be published as a book.

Essence of colour

Our ability to see is connected with associations and objects. We do not see pure forms and colours, but people, landscapes and utensils. They are structured in their mutual, often well known, relations which arose within us a feeling of recognition – a vase with flowers. When we see something which we do not quickly understand, the question ‘What does this represent?’ comes immediately to our mind.

This also happens when we look at an abstract painting. The painter expresses concepts, thoughts or emotions, which he interprets and presents in his own individual way. Some observers will assert that the painting indeed evokes the original idea of the artist. Others will undoubtedly confess, either with disappointment or with rejection, that they do not recognise at all the associations of the artist. But associations distract our attention away from the actual colour on the canvass. We do not see red, but an apple. What happens when the artist does not make any association with the concrete and strives to express colour for its own sake and present it in its essence. Despite all possible associations. What do we see than?

My paintings do not represent any more a conceptual abstraction of the concrete world. The colours play in their mutual dynamics – literally. The structure of simplest forms canalises our ability to observe, but does not allow any associations. Those who watch for a while will see a continuous change - just like reflections in running water. The paintings contain an endless variation, which the observer can experience, but which he can also superficially pass by.

When a 'Concerto in C-major’ by …. is performed, we take it as it is, mostly do not ask questions about it, but we either like it or not. Without great difficulty we accept our feeling about it. We hear sounds of musical instruments, individually and in their interactions. The composition has structure, colour and rhythm. Music passes by and may evoke our emotions or imagination without a well defined reason for it. Those capable of entering fully into music hear a variety of sounds and structures, which merge with each other, influence and determine each other and compete for attention and emotion.

Sounds and colours become phenomena which evoke and reflect emotions. My paintings approach musical compositions as much as possible. A musical piece is performed in time. You cannot just pass by, as then you would hear only a few sounds. Who wants to hear music must stand still and listen. This applies also to my paintings. They are not destined for a superficial observer for whom looking ‘at a glance’ is sufficient. You must take time and  watch. Whether you fix your eyes at one point or you run your eyes back and forth, you will discover new structures which appear and disappear. Our sense to see combined with rational interpretation barely allows us to understand intuitively and subjectively and to experience.