»Städtischen Galerie Mennonitenkirche«

Christian KaufmannExcerpts from the inaugural address at »Städtischen Galerie Mennonitenkirche«, Neuwied, 05/28/2002

Christian Kaufmann, art historian and curator in Frankfurt/Main

” […] Astrid Lindgren opened our eyes to the truth that adults become poor when they lose the images they had as children. I should like to call Anna Bieler “an Astrid Lindgren in the realm of painting”. In her pictures we see monsters, three-legged beings and other strange creatures. Anna Bieler gets these images from everyday life:

When talking to neighbours, when visiting a cathedral, even sometimes at home in the children´s room. But above all these ideas come to her when doing some soulsearching. In so far, her pictures express her amazement at the variety of things one can find on earth. […]

In my opinion, […] Anna Bieler´s pictures deal with the questions of the origin and destination of life. They describe femininity, they deal with birth and rebirth, with growth (symbolized by plants), with water and flowing elements, with fish symbolizing life, with sexuality and with love: love between man and woman, love of life, love of the art of painting, and love of colours.

Personal experience is an important component of her paintings, and so are philosophical and anthroposophical views. In her paintings, man is always in harmony with nature. […]

Two traits seem to me to be typical of Anna Bieler´s work:

There are, to start with, the bright colours in her paintings. Often she puts the three primary colours blue, red, and yellow in big areas one beside the other – which endows the paintings with a luminous quality. Her work reminds one of expressionistic artists like Wassily Kandinsky or Alexej Jawlenski, and, perhaps, even of Pop Art (Tom Wesselmann). Noticeable also is the almost complete absence of grey and black tones – and that contributes to the predominantly cheerful atmosphere of her paintings.

The second characteristic element is her putting side by side large areas of striking colours (Pop Art) and others with no clear boundaries – nuances of the same colour which may evoke images of landscapes[…]

There are sharp contrasts
between two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts,
between contrasting colours,
between sensual enjoyment and pensiveness.

Anna Bieler forges links between those contrasts by virtue of her sense of humour, and that is another characteristic of her work.