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Dóra Maurer

IXEK 5, Durchdringungen, 2010/11

Acrylic, linen, plywood

80 x 130 cm

Photo: Franz Wamhof

 

The constructive-concrete œuvre of Dóra Maurer, who was born in 1937 in Budapest, is anchored in Conceptual Art. In the late 1970s she shifted her focus from photography, film and prints to painting, which has remained to this day her chief medium. The systematic manner in which Maurer moves in on a topic, as was already characteristic of her early work, has focused ever since on a geometrical vocabulary. And her main concern in this is to explore the underpinnings of human perception.

 

In 1972 Maurer began to employ methodical shifts in patterns and structures in her paintings. The series of Quasi-Bilder [Quasi-Pictures] that she did in this way was extended in 1982 to create the design of an entire room in the keep at Castle Buchberg in Lower Austria. She covered all the surfaces of the space inside the tower with colourful, diagonal and orthogonal lines until the logic of the room's architecture seemed to have been suspended.

The theories of concrete art, above all Josef Albers's colour theories, which Maurer describes as seminal for her practice, provided her with important stimuli for her own work. Like Albers, she is concerned with a direct visual experience which questions the viewer's normal patterns of perception. With this, her works always include the aspect of movement, which is inviolably bound to the time factor.

 

Similarly in the IXEK series, which she commenced in 2006, the temporal component plays an essential part. The title of this group of works comes from the Hungarian plural for the letter "X": as in the cross that forms the X shape, two identical elements are interlocked in these pictures, which in the case of IXEK 5, Durchdringungen [IXEK 5, Penetrations], have been done in the contrasting colours red and green. They are perceived by the viewer as curved, mutually penetrating chromatic surfaces. In the IXEK work in theMarli Hoppe-Ritter Collection, the two elements appear for a moment to glide almost bodilessly into one another and to divest themselves of all solid form. "For a number of years now I have been very interested in superimposed colours and the way one attains the impression of transparent colours", as Dóra Maurer has described her concept of the image. In this way she exposes the illusion presented by perspectival representation and shows the freedom painting enjoys to create a visual logic that differs from that of the real world.

 

Dóra Maurer

1937 born in Budapest

Lives and works in Budapest