In her work "Dear All", artist Dagmar Rauwald (born 1965) reflects on the current state of emergency through her painting process. It is no coincidence that she creates pictures and sketches relating to her current living conditions. Rauwald’s artistic practice is always concerned with events, reducing our distance from them and finding images to articulate them. "Dear All" is a form of reaction and exposure that incorporates historical conditions, media communication, and the subjective experiences that are realized in the spontaneity of painting.
The work is therefore also an echo of other forms of searching for some kind of coping mechanism—whether privately or socially, or at the Kunstverein—and an echo for those still traveling by train. It is also about the use of time and the conflict between production, moving on, and waiting, a reflection on the normality of the non-normal.
In her paintings, sketches, and notes Rauwald raises questions such as: What is the relationship between national borders and health? To what extent are contact and contagion risks related to social inequality? What does self-care mean?
The multidimensionality and uncertainty of the outcome of the pandemic are reflected in the work, both in its color coding and its materials. Rauwald has mostly used foils as a painting surface since the 1990s. The transparency of the film allows for working in layers and creates an interplay between visualization and opacity. Over the past few weeks, foils have been used as a protective measure against Covid-19 in many public buildings. They constitute a form of distancing, but also demonstrate solidarity and consideration.
The overlapping arrangement of canvases, sketches, and foil pictures in the KVHBF Vitrines opens up a space for reflection on the manifold contradictions of the current situation.