Sara Sizer´s works are paintings, but not made with paint in the conventional sense. Rather these paintings are simply stretched, raw linen which have been partially bleached to reveal images. Some paintings depict forms taken from the garden achieved by spraying bleach around trees, railings and plants. These especially take on a mysterious, quasi abstract appearance sometimes suggesting funnel clouds or strange colums.
These works look like paintings but have nothing on their surface. The support of the painting itself, partly bleached by chemicals, is the painting. This only superficially meets our idea of a painting. The bleach is mostly applied with a brush having the same gesture as if it was painted with paint but with the difference that the application is irreversible. The process can be stopped but not withdrawn, no overpainting, no erasing. Sizer´s way of working to control the paintings through a chemical process leads to the conception of images and the planning of form akin to the sculptor´s and photographer´s. Seen from a semiotical perspective many of these works are indexical in the sense that traces of already existing objects are necessarily imbedded on the canvas. This colorless „painting“ does not remind us „of what was“ (Roland Barthes). The fact that they don´t recall anything real but rather bring to mind a vague memory of something seen contributes to their mystery and creates at the same time their aesthetic identity.
In this way the results of Sizer´s process as seen in her paintings sensitize our perception and sharpen our intuition for correlations. Our perception of architecture, zones of light and shadow, show the same bright and dark contrast which are similarly manifested in the untreated and treated areas of Sizer´s works. For example the phenomenon which occurs when a coffee cup is left on a newspaper in the sunlight and a sillouette of the cup becomes „burned“ after a time onto the newspaper should be common to us but rather seldom attracts our conscious attention. It could be said that Sizer activates these ephemeral possibilities of the everyday capturing these transient motifs on the canvas and finally allowing them to imprint themselves leaving their simple forms forever. Once there, they tell their tale with a calm intensity and stoic presence which upon reflection throws us back to ourselves and back to the still possible act of pure perception.
Through a crack in the darkness, on a very bright day, on a wall with windows which was perpendicular to another wall, an image emerged on the ceiling of my bedroom. It was upside down which became more obvious when someone began waving out of the window. Reading Friedrich Kittler´s „Optical Media“ I found myself in the possession of a chance camera obscura. Similar pleasures are given to us by Sara Sizer´s paintings.
by Jürgen Drescher