Figuration in Dialogue

Exhibition from June 20 – Aug 15, 1996 with paintings by Eva Koethen and Adriena Simotová

Guardini Stiftung e.V., Tempelhofer Ufer 22, 10963 Berlin, Germany

This exhibition shows recent works by Eva Koethen from Berlin and Adriena Simotová from Prague; the two artists also lent the exhibition its name, ‘Figuration in Dialogue’. When I first viewed their works in these rooms, I struggled to make sense of the exhibition title; it left me with a sense of irritation, yet there was nothing wrong with it. But soon I realized that I was witness of a dialogue and set out to explore how abstract painting can communicate with figurative drawing, moreover how the two can create an appeal as it is present in the rooms here. To start with, it was opposites and unusual features that struck my eye: the works by Eva Koethen were no paintings, the ones by Adriena Simotová no drawings.

Indeed, the origin, biography, artistic field and artistic practice of the two artists could not be more different; however, there are also commonalities that underline their similarity rather than their difference. Even when I fail to find words for what I see, I happily acknowledge that there exist things that can be seen but cannot be captured in words. But how – to return to my initial question – do the two artists manage to create an appeal as it is present in the rooms here? The best I can do to answer this question is to provide a provisional answer: I believe it t is the equality of the energetic and emotional potential that links the works beyond their individual figuration to a ‘figuration in dialogue’.
(Excerpts from the opening speech by Dr. Brigitte Hammer)