Pia Andersen

Spheres of light and space

Thoughts on the paper-colour-paintings by Pia Andersen

1990, "Spheres of light and space" individual exhibition, Pia Andersen, Nikolaj Kunstbygning, Copenhagen and Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany. - Text by: Dr. Dorothea Eimert, director at Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany


Pia Andersen is trying out new ways in the painting. She paints with paper, glue and pigments. In the utility of textures and paper-structures she is showing multiplicity and imagination. However she is not only exploring colour and texture, but also the principles of order of geometry in the picture.


Pia Andersen is preparing the paper; with chalk, glue and pigments she is causing wrinkles and clefts to the paper; transforming the surfaces into crater-landscapes, through the stratification of papers and by violently belaboring the paper. The colour is penetrating deep into absorbing paper and left shiny and close on smooth surfaces. Sometimes Pia Andersen already has dyed papers ahead, so the gestic of the painting process is restrained and the colour develops surface-like paths in space of the picture.

Geometric surfaces arise in differentiation and colour-reduction, structured with cracks. Fine ramifications are being extended into paths of lines or even flabby surfaces, being formed into elevations and depressions. Also the dominating colour category is being transformed into a multifaceted colour palette.

The paper-colour-surfaces treated by Pia Andersen are in geometric form being glued on the already coloured and cracked paper-ground. Adjustments and compositions of the colour-surfaces are showing a strict order. In this way surface is facing surface, fiber-structure facing a smooth surface, texture stands opposite lacquered smoothness, dullness opposite shine, light opposite dark. With lucidity and without ornamenting cants Pia Andersen is treating her complex picture-ideas. The colour and the structure of the colour becomes pure expression.

The systematization in the geometric structure stands opposite to the thoroughly composed, or rather organic, paper-colour-surface. In living contrast to the precisely and carefully prepared geometry in the composition stands the haptic vibrating texture. With both of these two fundamental principles; meaning the systematization and the texture Pia Andersen wishes to describe our existence; which reveals itself constructed, stiffened, hard, but also freeing, natural-affecting.

The glueing of the paper-colour-surfaces as contrasting surfaces on the treated picture-ground and the close graduation of the colour-spheres creates
a deep suggestive power. The foreground and the background get opticly easier to understand and therefore they are experienced stronger. An illusion of space arises because of the accentuation of the surface.

Destructive agitation also appears from time to time. Impulsive aggressions add wounds and scratches to the paper. Pia Andersen is consciously painting with the destruction; which is laying free new structures and values of form. The wounds then are restored and carefully hidden with glue and colour. The gestic of the picturesque agitation is being withdrawn. The picture gets to be intermediary of the painting-process.

What is leftover, is a beautiful landscape of colour, in a controlled tone of form in a restrained sparse harmony of colour-tone. In a captivated manner the paper-colour-painting of Pia Andersen is inviting the eye to rest in harmonious colour-reductions.

Furrowed colour surfaces and ramified colour lines are formulating a space of hovering depth and calm width. From time to time the pictures are showing a character like a kind of landscape, by which elementary structures, which appear, seem heartfelt. The often dim colour-ground gets a touch of light, a puff of clearing up. A shining glow of colour is gleaming through and letting free energetic colour oscillations. New spheres of light and space are being pictured.

The paintings of Pia Andersen have like icons a timeless substance. They seem to come from a far away empire of wordless sense and give one the feeling of them being able to fade away again – silently.