Venus 13, 2021

Venus 13 is a series of 13 plaster wall sculptures with paintings of egg tempera.

After the long, first lockdown period in the spring of 2020, I traveled through the Pyrenees for a few weeks in the summer. It was on a sweltering day that I happened to be driving past Montignac and had the chance to visit the Lascaux caves there. I was enchanted by the cave drawings and the way in which they merge with the walls and ceilings of the halls. As an artist I felt a kinship with the previously living people, who had drawn on the stone vaults there. I was blown away by the way they used the hollows in the rocks to represent the bulges of the images. The belly of a drawn prehistoric horse becomes convex and spatial due to a cavity in the underground. Back in my studio I made mounds of clay and covered them with a plaster layer, then I took the clay out of the plaster shell, leaving cup-shaped plaster bowles. I made a group of 13 plaster shapes, all of which were created according to this principle of inversion. Holes became bulges, bulges became cavities and vice versa. On these plaster dishes I painted new shapes with egg tempera and pigment powder, which sometimes go along with the shape and sometimes against the three-dimensional shape. In the series forms and anti-forms arise within the frame of the shell-shaped dishes. The title of the series is Venus 13 after the painting The birth of Venus by Boticelli, which depicts the birth of Venus from the sea. I.B.