STRIKING LIGHT AND SMASHING SHADOWS
With a all-black to dark grey, monochrome colour palette of charcoal, graphite, lacquer, chalk-like painting materials as well as black and metallic pigments, Julia Emslander extracts personal experiences into painting.The painting and its elements become an organic being that discharges manifold associations, as they are inherent in all life. They form a net that is based on the most elementary and deepest experiences
Through the absence of colourfulness and the reduction of compositional elements, Emslander’s works offer a counter-position to information excess and content overload. Her process-oriented art is a sensual, emotional and aesthetic offering that comes alive in the confrontation between the work and the person viewing it in an environment and in the interplay between the two - a phenomenological approach that sharpens perception and mindfulness and enables multiple perspectives. Emslander’s
works invite us to pause and allow an emancipation of our own thoughts and emotions. The flatness resulting from this minimalist approach becomes a space that breathes and pulses. The
colour becomes the material and so Emslander explores how the use of different surface and material properties opens up a playful experience of changing light conditions between reflection and absorption.
Gradually, Emslander builds up a pictorial space consisting of surfaces and lines in a typographic-architectural order and non-perspectival depth. She studies and experiments with different pigments, materials and techniques, building up surfaces by applying, removing and overlaying thin layers of paint. This long process of preparation allows for improvisation and intuition at the moment of creation. Her sanded, scratched and partly destroyed surfaces take on the role of the image. In this way, Emslander affects the “skin” of the painting’s body with tools such as knives or chains, even down to her bare fingernails. The relationship of power and strength between the image and the artist and thus the fragility and strength of the female body are negotiated. This physical exhaustion, which constitutes the works, also signals a physiological level of experience
to the viewer. The balance of the discrepancy between aesthetics, surface and violence is constantly shifting.