Käthe Schönle

For Schönle, art means to transform material and to explore the limits of meaning, aesthetics and physical relations.


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An interest in hybrids, ambiguities and complexities pervades her entire oeuvre. Collage, the haptic and spiritual origin of artistic amalgamation, serves as an important accomplice in this preoccupation. Max Ernst described the technique of collage as ‘the systematic exploitation of the accidental, the artificially provoked meeting of two or more alien realities on an apparently unsuitable level – and the spark of poetry that jumps over when these realities converge.’1 It comes as no surprise that Schönle has a passion for the great Dadaist.
In screen printing, Schönle‘s interest in contrasts and interruptions – in overlays and clear boundaries – combine perfectly. In her new series, she tests how much layering an arrangement can accept and remain harmonious.
Screen printing enables the artist to precisely delineate her repertoire of forms. The paper is printed on again and again and through this, printed and painted paper elements are bound together. For the alert reader, this repetition of stencils folds the subject of time into the paper, showing Schönle‘s restless testing of the medium.
Modules of content and technique interlock, constantly repositioning, building together to form a complex architecture of imagery. The precision on which these works hang depend in equal measure upon courageous juxtapositions and careful reductions, balancing condensation with empty space. Bringing new meaning to the old adage, Schönle repeatedly proves that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

– Paula Watzl

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