Papercut 7 (2019)

Birte Horn

Cut box


21 x 13 cm
Unique piece
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Additional information


Birte Horn

About the artist

Birte Horn was born in 1972 in Düsseldorf (Germany).  From 1993 – 1998 she studied at the Folkwang University in Essen with Professor László Lakner. He complemented his training with artist residencies in Venice, Romania and other German cities.

He has also combined his artistic career with teaching in cities such as Ulm, Neuss and the Roggenburg Monastery.

He has also had several solo and group exhibitions in cities such as Engen, Nünberg, Stuttgart, Linz, Karlsruhe, etc.

“I perceive the things I represent, everything is actually already there. It’s just that reality is so fast and changeable that I find it impossible to hold on to a holistic perception of reality. So, in my work, I focus on the principle of deconstruction and construction.

When I reflect, this principle is much more comprehensive for me and not only immanent to the work.

I extract, fragment and assemble – in thought, with the eyes, the hands, language. We could talk about theories of perception at this point. There are no self-contained systems in reality, there are only parts and composite partial realities, and these are neither universally valid nor stable.

When I describe how I work, my artistic action comes closest to thinking. The thoughts and images in my head are free to move in all directions, they shove themselves over each other and thus constantly link up to form new ideas. That means a great deal of freedom. I play with parts of reality. Thus, my work is characterised by a complex combinatorics of very different views of space as well as layers of space in the past years as a whole.The surface is a big theme for me – it is the counterpart to space, but also surface is a fragment, a complement to and a subtraction from space, a promise to space. In my work, the surface is always colour surface, which lies above and next to each other, works with and against each other. Area is surface, it is guided, it is independent, it is random, it is sensual, glossy, matt, streaky, it is sexy.

When I speak of possibilities of reality, I mean the amount of what I perceive – knowing full well that I perceive selectively and that the whole is thus my personal whole. I can give you an example: When I am out and about, there is hardly anything that escapes me, but in the end, I have only photographed small things, areas of colour, structures, pieces of space. It’s my preference for leftover pieces, for overlooked things, for combinations.

Take the papercuts – an ongoing series of small collages. I started this work when I cleared out my father’s architectural office in 2016 and took most of the materials. Much of it was still in its original packaging and emotionally charged for me in that I couldn’t keep away from those coloured boxes as a child. Inside was a world of pens, colours and shapes that I couldn’t resist. I started unfolding these old packages from the 60s and 70s and to free them from all information, writings and logos, so that I had single pieces of colour at my disposal. Reassembled, the space, the three-dimensional packaging becomes a coloured surface, an image. I transform something whole into parts and then back into something new whole.”

Birte Horn