No part of art can express any
emotion if there is no some part of
reality mixed into it, Emil Schumacher, the famous German painter;
representative of abstract expressionism in post-war Germany is
reported to have said.
Another German artist, Ruth Bisping, showcasing her work at the
Cholamandal Cultural Center for Contemporary Art in Chennai dwells
upon the same thought when she says, this irreducible element is a
to any work, however tiny, however imperceptible the indication
be. In other words, this element within the painting unlocks our
our body and our emotions’, she adds.
This hugely talented artist who now lives in Chennai shows her
from different periods of her stay in India. Ruth lives in Germany
France but lately since over a year she is living in Chennai.
In its modern version, painting is spontaneous reflection and
interaction. What appears on the canvas is not preconceived or
determined by ‘real thing. The ‘real things’ are hidden in colors
shapes of imagination, they are there, but the creative artist’s
projection rules over reality, that is how Ruth explains her work
displayed at the art gallery in the Cholamandal artist’s village.
Calling her painting between strangeness and familiarity, Ruth
to say, ‘when a painter changes her physical environment, as
and abrupt, as I did by moving to Chennai, the content and style
painting is adoptive to whatever changes I have witnessed after
Whoever has seen my work in Europe that unfortunately I could not
bring them to Chennai, will see the difference put on the canvas
that is reflective of Indian environment, Ruth comments on her
Her paintings reflect a dedication to vibrant fluent colors to raw
materiality to spontaneous imagination. Her paintings have come up
over a period of one year of hard work put up at her studio here
As one can see, the impulsive process of her paintings showcased
the exhibition there is a transformation of her very personal
sensation of the moment on to the huge canvas right in front as
enters into the art gallery.
With her works, she lures us into the quest for traces of
search in the world completely regimented by the rules of a
civilization. And to view it from another perspective, a search of
uncertainty, a freedom, to be felt in space and time, an
strangeness rooted in each of us and with whom we all are so
Passing through Ruth Bisping’s painting one may experience this
of uncertainty, continuously changing position and perspective,
beholder is exposed to permanently varying ways of viewing and
possibly also experiencing similar feelings.
Her paintings are rooted in gestural and in tachisme painting. The
styles are characterized by the spontaneous application of color
fields on to the canvas.
Apparent are the elements, a scratch, a sign, and an iridescent
surface hat makes her artwork so legible. This element throws
upon her painting and its meaning.
The element reveals to us an aesthetic perception of the world, a
thought which in terms of Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher,
ever existed in our minds, in our bodies and in our emotions.
Undoubtedly Ruth Bisping’s painting has roots in the tradition of
Fautrier, Alberto Burri, Antoni Tapies and certainly of Emil
Ruth Bisping studied at the College of Fine Arts in Braunschweig
Bielefeld in Germany. She has held solo shows of her work in
Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Toronto, Bordeaux etc. She has participated
several group shows in Germany France, Lithuania, Italy and
She took part at Biennale for Installation at Gera in 2011. Her
can be accessed at www.ruth-bisping.de
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org