german version
Moving Silhouettes

Nowadays life is fast moving. People hurry from one place to the next; floods of information assail them, the clock ticks faster and faster. There is hardly any time to process all of these captured impressions. Contours blur, people lose their individuality, and landscapes devolve into anonymous places. The Berlin artist Anna-Maria Kursawe captures these themes as illustrated by her most recent art exhibit called “Aufenthaltswahrscheinlichkeiten” meaning “Probability Density” at the Ansbach Administrative Court.

Even the title of the exhibit suggests the vagueness, uncertainty, and transience of the phenomena that govern the realities of everyday life. Anna-Maria Kursawe’s paintings lend startling substance to these phenomena. The features of her paintings of appear as double-exposed photographs with overlapping layers. Contours are not clearly defined, but instead blur and become silhouettes that only indicate the object’s shape. At the same time, her painting style creates an impression of movement, as if the images were rushing past us as we flew by in a car. People seem rather sketchy and blurred, most of them lacking the characterization of facial features and any relation to one another or to the world around them. As to the scenery of the paintings, the artist elects places that radiate a certain amount of anonymity, such as industrial parks, certain urban districts or sometimes just an individual building. Take for example, the white observation deck at the Palace Nacional in Barcelona, a clean, impersonal, and spacious location where people seem to disappear, and despite an attractive city view, hardly provides more than ephemeral inspiration. Anna-Maria Kursawe impressively portrays this atmosphere in her Barcelona painting. In this painting, the tourists, seen from behind the observer, stand on the observation deck as if lost, the contours of the city in the background are blurred, and the place itself basically becomes interchangeable. Another painting by Anna-Maria Kursawe is called “Haus” [House] which depicts a lonely, strictly geometrical house situated in a seemingly chilly landscape. The two women in the foreground of the painting “Vorüberziehen” [Passing By] glance apathetically into space in a strange way. They seem completely divorced from their surrounding which by itself appears peculiarly frigid despite the fact that it is a summery scene.

This effect, which is typical in Kursawe’s work, is strengthened by her choice of colors. The artist uses only egg tempera which gives her paintings a bright and sometimes even transparent coloring similar to watercolor. The coloring at once appears cold, transparent, and sometimes even a little hostile, however at the same time these same colors appear vibrant, luminous, and inviting. They pose an appealing contradiction to the gloomy theme of the art exhibition at large and distinguish the work of Anna-Maria Kursawe as aesthetically more attractive. The choices of coloring and cubist features lend her paintings a certain nostalgic touch while not being romanticizing. Her paintings are puzzling, specifically because they are so beautiful.


Martina Kramer: Fränkische Landeszeitung - Ansbacher Tagblatt - 20.5.2010
Translation: Julia Barbara Flachenecker