Possibly Now

In Gwendolyn Kerber’s work it remains unclear if it is the wall saying goodbye to the painting, or if it is the painting flashing its farewell to the wall. Nor can we figure out, if the crooked metal rods and wires are in the process of attaching or detaching the canvas. It hangs sus-pended in mid air, as a shape reminding us of the true picture it once was. Gwendolyn Kerber turns solid painting into an object threatening to disappear. A few of the paintings are adorned with an ellipse, that has more sound than visual image. Others are solely figurative, yet displaying a genre that in the 21th century has become rather obsolete: the nature of landscape. But no longer does Kerber offer the viewer a window to enter more fully into that landscape. Instead, nature seems to move a foot forward and protrude into the viewer’s space. Work of man is not in harmony with the landscape, so we surmise from Kerber’s warped shapes up in the air.

Still, Kerber is not intending to leave us with a mere memory of art. Her paintings might be fragile, but the artist brushes against the grain, clearly relishing the fact that breakable objects are much more enjoyable than unbreakable ones. She does so with paint. Her landscapes are seen in a flash of color and light that appeal directly to the senses. The paint dances in front of our eyes around the pond and in the bushes. And the light bounces off the color on the painting and creates a flushed reflection on the white wall. There is no arrest, even in the paintings’ display, hovering in the air with rods or circulating on the floor with wheels. Who, the artist asked, said that “beauty stops us”? It is Kerber’s aim to assist us in our attention to the core of aliveness. And in doing so, she awakens the desire to continue beholding as long as we can.

An Paenhuysen