Art satisfies the thirst: Austrian Art, rooted in Italy

Ruud van Weerdenburg

Seventh year of the activities from the gallery and small theatre called Atelier 12 in Graz, Austria, started with the presentation of the seventh catalogue with paintings of Ingrid Knaus. Knaus was born in the hills of south-Styria, where the crepe myrtles grow and the wine is famous.

In Italy she finds mostly the best places to “plant a canvas”, let’s term her activity of paintings as such. When standing face to face with each one of the paintings one cannot escape the idea that she “sucks up the stuff that life there is made off”, like a tree drinks the water from the surroundings. In all her seven catalogues – which are still available -there is a short story written – a literary twin of the visual report.

Not one of the 35 canvases on the walls is framed – Knaus brought them here from her studio in the car. The smell of the Italian countryside from Toscana and the footsteps of the women and men in Florence (for instance) on the staircases, on the main squares she delivered with them. Different lives we may taste in “the last hole before the Balkans” as Graz is also called. Obviously the roofs of the houses around the only mountain in the centre of this city are already prepared for this expansion of “the Italian flair”.

An exhibition – finally – after about two years of lockdown. O yes: and the introduction of the works was accompanied by the music that came out of the banshuree – bamboo flute from Hindustan – with seven holes… The visitors and the artist, the organiser also Johannes Sfiligoy , were all “hyper-open minded”. It is desperately needed these days, a bath in Art. A heavenly drink after such a long time of thirst… Colours and lines have the same worth in feeling, according to the paintings of Ingrid Knaus. Blue may have a stronger goal then a half round line will achieve. And just because there is no human being in her paintings to be found, an until yet not explored aspect of the looker will be manifested by itself! In this accurate cultivated kind of emptiness, the confrontation carries fruit. Elasticity is to be exchanged with the capability of lifting heavy weights… In the playground of laws and dreams; outside the frames of distance and close-harmony. The introspection of the artist in front of landscapes and street corners evokes values of the soul that turn out to be more stable than the tides outside. Through the eyes of this woman , born in Styria and with her education in Art-History and Literature, we are capable of shaking the cards in the game very differently. Borders disappear between the world outside and inside. 

Look in Knaus’s paintings for your own rhythm, together with the lines and colours. The melting-pot of depth and speed…The mirror-wall of the former ballet-studio will help you. 

Atelier12, Münzgrabenstraße 24 (+436764058969)

20th February 2022

RUUD VAN WEERDENBURG was born 1956 in Alkmaar, Netherlands. He is a poet, a painter and a flautist. His travel stories were published in Hindustan Times and Assam Tribune. In Kalakshetra in Guwahati, he had his painting exhibition. Based out of Amsterdam and Vienna, he is also a portraitist and an illustrator.

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