Irma Blank: painting between the lines
Irma Blank: Painting Between the Lines, is the first solo presentation of the artist’s work in the United States since 1979. The exhibition comprised selections from key bodies of work representing the long, prolific, and deeply poetic career of this German-born and Italy-based conceptualist: the Eigenschriften (1968-1973), Trascrizioni (1973-1979), Radical Writings (1983-1995), Avant-testo (1990s-early 2000s), and Gehen (begun in 2017 and ongoing).
Since the 1960s, Blank’s oeuvre has existed in the space between language and gesture, unfolding over six decades as a solitary journey into the complex relationship of writing, art, and life. In each body of work, she investigates the ways in which a sign or a mark can represent a feeling, an idea, or the experience of time. In her first major series, the Eigenschriften, Blank filled sheets of paper with dense, scriptural signs that upon first glance resemble calligraphy, but are revealed upon closer inspection to be illegible marks. By unmooring her ‘writing’ from content and negating its functionality, Blank transformed the very notion of reliable meaning and set her practice on a metaphysical course. Adding to these ideas are works from her Trascrizioni series, which turns the dialogue outwards as she transcribes pages of books and newspapers by replacing words with incomprehensible strokes, yet maintaining the original format.
This catalogue, which accompanies the 2019 exhibition held at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York, includes an essay by Sofia Gotti as well as archival images and details of exhibited artwork.
23,2 x 17,5 cm. (9 x 6.7 in.)