Wiese XII, encaustic monotype on Japanese paper

  • Wiese XII.jpg
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Deeply inspired by the beauty of flowers and landscapes, I push my subject to a place of gestural abstraction. Sweeping gestures are heightened by bold saturated tones. The process of mark making, color choice, and composition happens mostly subconsciously. It matures to a gestural dance revealing my utmost authentic voice, a dreamlike reconfiguration of emotional meanings.

The resulting work is vibrant, complex, and meant to make intimate connections with the audience, invoking both my vision and feeling of a world where beauty and vulnerability are the touching keystones.

The Encaustic Monotype Printing Process

I am painting on a hot aluminum plate with liquid beeswax and pigments. The image is transferred to handmade Japanese paper by placing the paper face down on the plate and hand rubbing it with a Japanese burin. The loose fiber absorbs the wax and the image bleeds partially through the backside. After the paper is pulled from the plate, I wipe the plate clean, paint the next image, and print again. One monotype is made of multiple, close to 100, unique printing processes printed on both sides of the paper.

I print in sections, since often the paper is larger than my plate, plus the printing process is challenging. The already printed image re-melts each additional time I put the paper down to add another detail. Often, I roll the paper up and only print the still white paper areas in order to keep the already achieved design crisp. At the very end, in multiple runs I print the backside of the paper to create the back-ground color.  

The paper gets translucent and saturated with the pigmented wax. The colors are uniquely brilliant and luminous and metal pigments sit as an embellishment on top of the paper. 

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John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

December 02, 2021

Birgit Huttemann-Holz’s Wiese XII follows in the long tradition of gestural abstraction depicting the natural world. The rich passages of whites, yellows, blues, and purples recall renowned Abstract Expressionist (and for this author, the greatest of her peers) Joan Mitchell’s canvases of blossoming verdure and bucolic ponds painted at her countryside studio in Vétheuil, France. Wiese XII exemplifies the artist’s apt description of her work as “a gestural dance”, with its cascading colors and frenetic explosions of flowers communicating a palpable sense of movement. Contrary to the fixed nature of its medium, nothing about the current work feels in stasis, instead, the viewer is confronted with a kaleidoscopic sea of foliage waving wildly in a strong wind. This illusion of motion is conveyed through the artist’s use of abstraction. The more photorealistic a painting appears, the more it comes across as static and unchanging. Abstraction liberates both the artist and their work from physical and conceptual restraints, and that freedom is in full effect in Wiese XII. 

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Birgit Huttemann-Holz
Figurative, Expressionism
Work on Paper - Unframed
Oil, Paper
25.00 inches wide
38.00 inches tall
0.10 inches deep
1.00 lbs
Grosse Pointe Park, MI, US