Germaine Kruip, To the magician's mind

14.11.2014–10.01.2015, Groen Kwartier

In Kruip's studio a copy of a photo that Allen Ginsberg took of the painter, archivist, anthropologist, film-maker and hermetic alchemist Harry Smith transforming milk into milk by pouring it from a carton into a glass jar, hints at the subtle magic she is aiming for: a small event happens, all elements are as they were before, yet something has undeniably changed.

Also pinned on the artist's studio wall: Ian Wilson's Circle on the Floor (1986) and Bruce Nauman's Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square (Square dance; 1967-8), both similarly gestural, bodily explorations of geometry; equally concerned with the dissolution of the object, but still from a physical point of departure.
Then there are other influences that are not immediately visible, but act as a kind of ever-present undercurrent, a backdrop to Kruip's practice: the geometrical abstractions of Mondrian and De Stijl that hint at a heightened reality behind the surface and shapes of the physical world. Kruip engages in a long-term conversation with their ideas and although they serve as a continuous source of inspiration - both formally and conceptually - she simultaneously seems to playfully counter the formal rigidity and mysticism they exude. Her exploration of abstraction is not a rejection of representation or the physical world, but rather a detour back to it.

More than an exploration of geometrical shapes as such, these abstractions seem to paraphrase Emily Dickinson, who wrote:

Best Witchcraft is Geometry
To the magician's mind -
His ordinary acts are feats
To thinking of mankind.

While the abstracted person is so lost in thought that she is oblivious to the world around her, these abstractions engage their surroundings. Kruip makes clever use of anticipation and modes of seeing to eventually guide the eye away, outside. With the same heightened concentration. To see the art out there.

Represented artist