Showers, downpours, downpours, deluge, drizzle, heavy rain, drizzle, drizzle – then the German language will soon be done with the names of the weather phenomenon.
The Japanese language, on the other hand, has many, many more expressions to describe the character of the condensed water that falls to the ground from clouds.
Rain is missing and fascinated
For her part, the Berlin artist Harriet Groß is fascinated by the Japanese interest in the increasingly missing weather event, which is abstracted as a sequence of lines in famous Japanese woodcuts from the 18th and 19th centuries. Two of these art historical references are in the exhibition “White Rain” in the Guardini Gallery to see, which Harriet Groß transforms with her works into an intoxicatingly quiet line meditation.
Using ink drawings, lenticular prints (vulgo: wiggle pictures in which two image levels lie on top of each other) and rain installations made of strings and aluminum rods, she creates an abstraction cast in strict black and white (and a few shades of gray), whose minimalism seems both manic and excessive at the same time. Lines, lines, lines everywhere. Thin, even thinner, thick, the thickest. Drawn one next to the other with an ink brush on laid paper or Japanese paper.
Small outliers are included, which provide the head-high horizontal lines, for example in the drawings “Feiner- und Leiser Regen”, with vertical omissions. With the “seams” of the water, the waves, the spray as in the “Sem” series.
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Again and again Groß breaks the analytical rigor of her composition, which describes Regen as the rhythm of nature and seems like its notations, its score. Then she plays with the visual echo of the falling drops. One example is the filigree installation “Sprueregen”.
[Guardini Galerie, Askanischer Platz 4, bis 22. Juli, Mo-Fr 13-18 Uhr. Das Katalogbuch “Weißer Regen” ist bei The Green Box erschienen und kostet 35 €. Am 28. Juni, 19 Uhr, findet eine Führung der Kuratorin Frizzi Krella in Anwesenheit der Künstlerin statt.]
The “spatial drawing” consists of metal chains that are assembled from a multitude of links of different sizes. Sometimes they turn out black, white, silver. And cast a delicate shadow on the wall as a rain curtain.
Rain as a sensory event.
That could undoubtedly be staged in a more pleasing and more accessible way than Harriet Groß does. Her work complex “White Rain” demands concentration and the willingness to immerse yourself in a subject that the artist is undeterred by roar of the world and follows the fashions of the art market.