Firmament of colours
Houses and landscapes, mother country, identity, fairy tales and folklore – these are the themes of Antje Taubert’s wilful and presumptuous paintings and drawings. Factually, they are everyday objects, different types of houses, consumer items, historical artefacts or reading matter. Antje Taubert devours them with her intense drawing style, holding hard to their actual, physical form. These highly provocative, vibrantly colourful signature drawings go straight to the essential, downright symbolic appearance of buildings, mountains, manmade object, etc. To use Dürer’s expression, she “wrenches” her subjects “out” of all narrative contexts, concentrating wholly on characteristic forms and colours.
Which then reappear in her paintings – harshly analytical, while equally transporting to a new aesthetic, a wholly unique presentational mode. In her paintings, Antje Taubert favours extracts of form and colour which have become far removed from the original event, creating a structured world full of harmony and coloured light. Her grouped paintings on various themes appear not only geometrically ordered, but mathematically redefined and freshly inspired.
Her more recent group of works, “Moscow Confectionery” (“Moskauer Konfekt”), which captures confection and chocolate wrappers from 1930s chocolate factories in Moscow, such as Krasnyj Oktjabr and RotFront, has spawned a particularly large body of paintings with geometric figurations.
The fact that supremacist and constructivist design principles were soon to penetrate many areas of design in the Soviet Union, from political posters to the artisan industry and packaging design, is due in part to a politically motivated promotion of so-called artist-designers.
Antje Taubert purifies the confectionery and sweet wrappers of their typographical or pictorial ingredients which, during the 1930s, obscured these revolutionary design principles or rendered them folkloric. She reduces to a timeless geometrical scaffold of coloured elements, re-animating those artists’ trail-blazing radicalism, whilst creating a bridge to the digitally dominated reality of the 21st century, with all its cultural and social consequences for perception and aesthetics.
What emerges are coolly coloured paintings; square surfaces measured in opulent geometrical figures and evolutions of form. These often large-scale pictures have nothing more in common with the small drawings that prepared and paved the way for them. Geometric shapes spread out in waves, stack and overlap one another. The shapes are all based on squares, triangles and circles – the beauty of geometry: entirely devoid of mysticism or transcendence, but full of clear breadths and mirth. Russian green, red, blue, yellow – it is a feast of diagonal and mirrored symmetries of the delicately graded colours. These bring movement to the centred compositions, as if they are rotating, their energies flooding over the edges of the picture.
Radically simplified, manifold multiplied and monumental, Antje Taubert transports elements of the real wrappers to a new aesthetic existence as panel paintings – powerful, clear and celebratory.
As in previous picture cycles, Antje Taubert’s “Moscow Confectionery” leaves behind the original reference to reality and enters the realm of concrete art.
Those small, dark, very picturesque square images in her studio bear witness to her readiness for the next new start; the next metamorphosis of form and colour.
Dr. Gabi Ivan, 2015
Antje Taubert lives and works in Berlin.
2002 – 2003
Master class in Fine Arts / Painting
Prof. Hanns Schimansky
Diploma of Fine Arts / Painting University of Arts KHB, Berlin
Prof. Hanns Schimansky
1995 – 2001
study of Fine Arts / Painting University of Arts KHB, Berlin
Prof. Werner Liebmann / Prof. Hanns Schimansky
born in Berlin