Brooklyn-based, German artist Anke Weyer’s abstract works act like mirrors reflecting the physical act of painting, echoing the suggestion of the artist’s scale and body: expressive traces of her own actions, held by congregations of multifaceted color.
The largest paintings she has ever surmounted, Weyer’s latest work takes on the specific challenge of monumentally scaled canvases – best exemplified by the meandering, looping, heavy line dominating the surface of one canvas called Eye Beep. The changing direction and extemporaneous reversals of that moment immediately invoke the sense of Weyer’s gesticulating arm. The challenge of working larger while retaining the same sense of one’s own process, one’s earned confidence and one’s capability for spontaneity, brings forth an innovative energy in her new work, specifically a deeper sense of motion and a generosity with paint. In another work, Dancing, the ruling Klein blue hovering above a golden, sunlit orange traces the artist’s rhythmic steps, replete with a barrage of effervescent spattering: an indexical record of her rapid ballet. Weyer often works outside atop a platform in her backyard, presenting a new set of trials – and advantages – of working in the elements, from the weather’s ravages on the body and its effect on her materials, to the stimulus steered by changing light and the liberating ability to cast her paints freely about.
Weyer’s paintings act as records of momentary spurts of energy and gesture: hints of humanity rather than a depiction of a specific objective abstraction. Color exists in its most essential state, detached from familiar forms and constantly in flux. One work entitled, A Foot in Each Corner, tempts the viewer to scan the composition for suggestions of familiar footprints. Could the chocolate outline of an ovular shape on the upper right be a man’s shoe print? Do two taupe dots on the lower left form a ball and heel? Within this lies the suggestive imagery of 1950’s dance diagrams littered with black and white shoe prints and looping dotted lines. Like Weyer’s effusive works, these pop-culture illustrations are not made with the intention of depicting feet, in fact, neither are concerned with direct images at all, but rather, they are both maps of movement and proposals of a truly human expression.
Weyer’s thick, lavish burgundies, elegant deep blues, watery greens, joyous pinks and buoyant yellows are passionately urgent – her palpable energy reminds us that time moves quickly, yet these brief moments can make a lasting impact. Gravity often reinforces itself through unforgiving accidents, as elements do not always fall into place with direct intention. Speed, and therefore conviction, is a major factor, almost a medium of its own. Her paintings become a quick conglomeration of fragments, spontaneity, mutations and mistakes. Weyer confirms, “There is a temptation to challenge every decision… Form, color, speed and gesture are the tools to express with decisiveness this dilemma, and the final painting is its documentation.”