Black & White
On the Phenomenon of the Line
“You noted, one does not write light on a dark ground, only the alphabet of the stars appears like that, sketch-like or refracting; the human being carries on with black on white.” (Stéphane Mallarmé)
“The drawing can be understood as a place for signs, through which we depict the world, and at the same time as the primary sign of being. The drawing is thus not a window to the world, but rather an instrument for comprehending our place in the universe.” (Walter Benjamin)
The drawing continues to assert its position in the art of the 20th and 21st century in various forms: as a draft, a sketch, a construction plan, as an autonomous position of linear art, as a means for directly transferring thoughts to paper, as a means of insight, as a popular collection item or as a affordable original by a great artist. In the drawing the line has a revealing, recording and illustrating function. Its fundamental disposition as a medium is a fundamental problem complex of the figure. A surface is marked “black” on “white” or vice versa.
One aspect of the exhibition is to trace the line in the metaphysical dimension of its possible genesis. Is the act of drawing, according to Georg Witte, a moment of filling, in which empty surfaces are labeled, or is it a moment of blacking in, whereby lines are traced that are already contained in the white ground itself?
Curator: Dr. Brigitte Reutner