''prima materia'

The force behind the paintings created by Anna Kott (* 1975 in Ruda Slaska, Poland) is not solely attributable to the interaction between the intense and restrained application of materials. The expression of her oil paintings on canvas and on paper is also determined through their subjects, and even more so through the use of colour, the various painting techniques and the respective image carriers. The title of the exhibition Prima Materia was chosen by Kott herself and derives from a quoted term in alchemy that refers to primary matter, which can be brought to a state of perfection through the means of a process-based and voluntary conversion. Anna Kott's paintings possess both the primary matter as well as their transformation. Emotions and reactions are reflected in the breadth of the sometimes rather ironic themes, along with the both modest and powerful colour arrangements. Anna Kott uses intensive colours, but also greys, earth tones and pastel colours. The almost pale brush drawings retain their transparency, but often claim a spatial function at the same time, which is decisive for the work as a whole. The area within the composition holds the same importance as the figure, whose basis is drawing, and the same importance as the free gestures that cover the drawing and surface with broad, dynamic but definitive brushstrokes. The artist leaves open surfaces which act as though exposed, causing the figurative drawings to emerge from these surfaces like illusionary appearances. Kott's works on canvas maintain the delicacy of a drawing, such as her works on paper; nevertheless they also possess an unusual painterly quality, especially through their reduction. A transparency and material intensity is achieved in her works in order to create the desired and unweighted interaction. Anna Kott speaks of a 'dialogue' that is not only guided intellectually, but also guided on the image carrier, within the composition itself and between composition and execution. To the artist, the act of painting is a cognitive, self-reflective, but also a physical exchange with former artistic choices and experiences. In this very personal process, she generates the very same strength that is instantly visible here. She chooses her subjects associatively. This applies to the figures, which depict the human body or animals such as pigs, fish and bulls. The same is applicable to the surrounding space represented by architectural frameworks or through purely painterly means, as they break down the canvas without revealing any perceptible space to the viewer. Through this, the contextual expansion of her subjects quickly distances itself from every seemingly narrative approach and leads back to the driving force of the artist, which derives clearly from the act of painting itself.


Peer Golo Willi


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© 2019 by ANNA KOTT