At first glance, the abstract ink drawings by artist Luise von Rohden appear to be closed systems, following a certain rhythm and a specific order. Lines, which are usually grey with only one orientation and size, hint towards vague signs of movement. A closer look reveals the variation in movement with which von Rohden explores the interplay of form, brushwork and colour in her artistic process and in doing so, challenges the appearance of the identical.
The drawings are sometimes inspired by natural phenomena or by everyday structures, materials or sounds. For example, the shapes formed by waves on the water’s surface are the starting point for an abstract representation, whereby the artist removes the system of waves, lines and reflection from its context and depicts them in a pared back form and in isolation. The system undergoes a process of trial, evaluation, rejection and redrafting, so it is constantly developed, refined and rehearsed until it finally is completed in its evolved form. This serial approach results in a collection of images which reveals the complexity of the seemingly simple. Every drawing is different – with conscious or unconscious modifications. Slight variations in stroke and brushwork, the different levels of translucency in the grey ink and the constantly differing beginnings and ends make the surfaces come alive and create surprising visual effects for the observer, evoking the idea of flickering movement.
»When successful, the picture grows beyond the mere system. A perfectly executed system wouldn’t interest me. With the repetition, I am not concerned with the completely identical, but rather with the variations of something that is always similar.«
This is how the artist plays with our perception through skill and precision in a very unique and fascinating way. The surfaces created by the seemingly simple sequence of similar lines seem to be transformed into something else, something with an intrinsic or scenic quality, indeed into an image.
Von Rohden, born in Gotha in 1990, studied Art and Art Education from 2009 to 2015 under Prof. Una H. Moehrke at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. From 2013 to 2014, she went to China to study at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied Chinese traditional ink painting and discovered stimuli for her own artistic creativity and work. The artist lives and works in Halle. In addition to creating her own work, Rohden teaches at Burg Giebichenstein as a teacher for special assignments in the field of Art Education. Her work has already been shown in both solo and international exhibitions.
Text: ArtNow Gallery, 2018