Shapes of Time II
Painting on a painting from the 1st half of the 19th century (ca.), 64 x 80 cm, acrylic on oil on canvas
Private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Renner
I rescued two old sacral paintings from being destroyed. A friend of mine was getting rid of things in his attic and asked me if I wanted them, that he would otherwise burn them. This one is roughly from the 1st half of the 19th century and the second one is from the turn of the 18th and 19th century (see Shapes of Time I.) Both were very damaged, torn, rotting, and the colour was peeling off. I had the damage professionally conserved by an art renovator so that I could work with it, and it would not crumble under my hands. More so than in the artworks themselves, I was interested in the shapes – in this case those that time had created on them. The relief web of crackled oil paint along with the rotting of the frame attacked by fungi and woodworms. I divided the painting into two identical halves and painted one over with black paint, on top of which I highlighted all those shapes with white line. This gave rise to a new graphical image. I take this half of the painting to be more of a graphic object than a classical framed painting, which applies more to the left half. I left that one untouched so as to enable a confrontation of the past with the present – both formal and thematic. The religious motive is covered in half by a veil of black and white web with Virgin Marie and the Christ Child in hand only peeking out from underneath it. Or perhaps she is leaning to the left, trying to protect her baby, just like when something old defends itself against something new, like a new religion, for example. The Shapes of Time are thus also a meeting of epochs and a visual dialogue across time.