Dog Paintings 2007 - 2009


Dogs? Dogs!

Linde Hartmann devoted a large part of her artistic works in the years 2007 to 2009 to the theme of ‘Dog’, or rather, as I see it, to the theme of how we view, interpret and value a living counterpart; which possibilities are offered by painting for an artistic inquiry of this kind.
Even when we seek something closed, unified and dependable, with known quantities, our perception is constantly influenced and altered by convention, time and our approach to the task.
Linde Hartmann’s current works orbit around this conditionality of perception, the different facets involved in observing an object or a situation.

In its ambivalence towards man, in its otherness and in its familiarity, the dog is the medium Linde Hartmann uses to give her ideas an artistic treatment. “Playing with the dog” - part of the title says it already - in these works the dog is not presented merely as a subject for painting. Rather, it is turned and rotated, observed from the most diverse of perspectives and placed in a variety of contexts. In these pictures the dog represents many things. As man’s oldest companion, yet not as a person nor either just a mere object, it can impart a distance and a closeness which mirror the observer, revealing his individuality. But also the ‘reservoir of dog shapes’ is also the starting point for a spectrum of different and simultaneous formulations. Linde R. Hartmann spreads a multilayered pictorial tableau before us. New tones have been added to her stylistic range. Beside the gestural formulations, strongly determined by the spontaneity of the drawing and by impulse, are also large, calm, completed areas of color; alongside the nervous pulsating of the color areas are areas of great serenity. The different modes of approach pose the question of the relationship between the objective, the subjective and the real; they allow an access that is always fresh, and challenge us to scrutinise rigid modes of observation.

In this sense the “Hundred Dogs” are nothing less than 100 very personal offerings for reflecting on how we view the present.

Ansgar van Zeul, im Februar 2009

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