82.5 x 80 x 8.5 cm
70 cans, car paint, screws, wood
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist
Ruth Pfalzberger (born 1949 in Basel, Switzerland) studied graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel. The main body of her work, which oscillates between figuration and abstraction, consists of oil paintings and watercolors, the latter of which have a delicate, fleeting, and translucent character. Throughout her career, the artist has continuously reduced her painting style until she finally arrived at the geometric and constructivist pictorial language she employs today. In the beginning, she worked in a more gestural manner, applying several layers of paint, part of which she sometimes scraped off again, or sometimes working with oil paint in an impasto style with strong color accents. She has also created somewhat poetic compositions of planes with delicately balanced colors. Other works reveal large fields of warm reddish-brown hues positioned next to each other over which a matte blue is sometimes laid. These pictures often have a strong spatial effect, and sometimes the gaze is drawn in to an imaginary depth, vortex, or tunnel. Scratches made by the artist in the painting’s surface create vivid accents or the impression of a drawing being laid over the painting. In the pictures with restrained and subdued colors, the structures drawn in charcoal and worked over in acrylic remind us primarily of wintry trees or bushes. The background of watercolors suggests a space flooded by light in which lines – sometimes bold, sometimes delicately fluid – seem to float like secret characters or hieroglyphs.
Recently, she has been producing highly abstracted landscapes of color, along with an increasing number of graphite and crayon drawings. Some of these focus on ships as a metaphor for the flowing river of life and its transience, while others depict elements of landscapes, light reflections, and water, all of which are only vaguely translated into a subtle, graphic pictorial language.
Ruth Pfalzberger has been working as a team with Romy Weber for over 40 years. Both artists studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel and have worked as graphic designers for many years: Ruth Pfalzberger at the Institute for Physical Chemistry of the University of Basel, and Romy Weber at the Badische Malerfachschule in Lahr as a teacher of typography and design. Both artists have a pronounced feel for material, form, and color, great technical precision, and a sense for drawing inspiration from nature. In the course of many years, they have created autonomous works that often communicate with each other, but also stand their ground as individual artworks. Since their first joint exhibition in 1972 at Schloss Thunstetten, they have presented their work together in regular intervals – alongside many solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad.
Dominique von Burg