Extracts from Eva-Maria Reuther’s speech to the exhibition
Anna Recker uses the geometrical form as the basic form of her work. She then goes on developing that basic form, multiplies it, modifies it into ever-changing variations and explores its relations, possibilities and conditions. As you know, the geometrical form is considered as the pure, philosophical form. It is reported that above the entrance to Platon’s Academy one could read the strict order ‘No one, who ignores everything about geometry, should enter this place‘.The tight link between geometry and philosophy is due to the fact that the first philosophers, known by our Western History of philosophy, were mathematicians as Pythagoras or Euclid. Philosophizing meant to them, thinking about the relations of point, line, surface and space, recognizing their finiteness and infinity. Precisely this is an essential part of Anna Recker’s creativity, too. By the way,– and it might amaze us nowadays – those mathematician-philosophers were not only interested in logic. They also wanted to extract esthetically appealing figures and forms from these mathematical connections. The philosophical handling of geometrical forms was free from any reference to tangible reality. Nowadays it is exactly this distance to the world that allows the geometrical form as spiritual form, to be used as an ideal instrument by artists and scientists. Latter enables them to concretize their visions as samples and models. They remind us of the colourful square fields, inspiring the constructivists for their model of a better world or of the civilizatory hexagram by the sociologue Dieter Senghaas. The Möbius loop, however, with its characteristics was not just used by the modern French writer Michel Houellebecq as a symbol of infinity and inextricable connections.
However, the geometrical form may also embody symbolically what reaches beyond this world. The polygon in geometry has become the sign for all kinds of religious and metaphysical matters of faith. The philosophers weren’t satisfied with their purely abstract models, either. At the latest since Aristoteles, they had to systematically learn more about the human being and his reality, namely a reality referring equally to spirit and senses. The spirit was virtually grounded. 2000 years after Aristoteles, Leonardo da Vinci, the artist, philosopher and scientist – in a way, avant la lettre – will write down in his diaries: ‘ The spiritual matters not having crossed the senses, are vain.’ In Anna Recker’s creations the spirit also crosses the senses. They are two positions bridging the gap between that early spiritual form of the antique philosophers and the modern art with its compression of reality and vision in few signs. They are works moving in an area of rationality and emotion, of sensuality and spiritual rigorousness. Moreover, Anna Recker’s work refers to the high art of drawing of the Renaissance. …in Max Frisch’s drama ‘Don Juan or the love of geometry’, the Spanish noble Juan tries to approach truth by geometry. Anna Recker’s concentration on the geometrical form, her analyses as well as her syntheses have, by their nature, something in common with the profound search of truth of that Spanish grandee by Max Frisch. Through the dealing with the geometrical form, she examines the world and her own position within it.
‘The complex matter is a large combination of simple matters’, writes the artist below one of her drafts. To me, her terse sentence stands for an artistic program as well as for the expression of existential insight and world perception. As we mentioned, Anna Recker’s basic form is the geometrical one, preferably the hexagon and its basic element, the triangle. From time immemorial, the hexagon has been a highly symbolical form. In Judaism and Christianity it represents the omnipotence and -presence of God. A great many of it can be found in Christian art. It forms the table in the medieval Paradise as well as the ground plan of the Dome cupola in Siena. Leonardo da Vinci, interested in all that keeps the world together in its innermost, considered the hexagon to be the primordial cell of human life. Like Aristoteles, he found a great number of geometrical forms in nature, like the hexagon in the honey comb or the volute in the snail shell. The basis of Anna Recker’s creative work is the drawing. By drawing, she disassembles her geometrical forms, reduces them to their basic elements and analyzes them. Several of her drawings and drafts seem to be layouts by designing engineers for technical plants. However, they also remind us, in a way, of the past masterly ‘Disegno’ of the Renaissance artists. Of course, Anna Recker doesn’t put up with disassembly. She varies the exposed elements, makes them independent and follows them up, transforms the surface into a body. She alienates quite a few parts, opposes concave and convex, negative and positive forms and ends up assembling everything again into the new form and by that into the new picture. Elsewhere, Anna Recker considers her drawings as ‘Complex systems between order and chaos’, refering by that exactly to that field of force where her creative work is moving.
You know, Anna Recker stays with neither of them. Her creations neither remain in the safe and strict status quo of her geometrical rule system, nor do they get lost in the chaos of arbitrariness and aimlessness. Anna Recker’s hexagrams and triangles always are the other, too; the solid and the free form, firmly structured wholeness and imaginative diversity. Her labyrinth is representative of this. In the same picture, we see it as a closed, sheer rejecting system. In the picture below, we discover the internal structure of this apparently hermetic system as a framework of open lanes of which, however, only one leads to the aim. Anna Recker’s pictures are multilayer, imply multiple meanings. As you see, the artist adds snail shells (those natural volutes) or stones, has hemispheres float. In other parts she captures the azure in the strict hexagon. Elsewhere again, the highly complex Möbius-loop flutters through the triangle like the innocent blue spring ribbon in Ludwig Uhland’s poem. It is exactly that state of balance between dream and spiritual rigorousness, between the reason of the spirit and the one of the feeling, that makes Anna Recker’s pictures, in spite of the clearness of the line, so poetic – I would even say – so enticing. The colour takes care of the rest. Anna Recker’s marvellously subtle handling of the colours carries her pictures and wall objects into another fabulous, occasionally transcendental beyond. This way, Anna Recker’s pictures imply earth and heaven, dream and day ….