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Abstract artist Anja Stemmer

Anja Stemmer is a German abstract artist located on Munich. Her paintings derive their power from a mix of untamed emotion, vibrant yet differentiated color, and layers of decisive gestural brushstrokes –she frequently uses acrylics and pigments in various binders. Educated in physics before finding her calling in art, her artistic research is grounded in philosophy and often comes with allusions to the natural sciences.

Anja Stemmer studied with German abstract painters Peter Tomschiczek, Peter Casagrande, and Jo Bukowski. She has exhibited extensively in Germany, as well as in England, Denmark and Austria. Her artwork is listed in private collections in the US, Africa and various European countries and her work has been featured in several contemporary art fairs. We have conducted an interview with her.

Which are the two themes that you are currently focusing on?

I am currently following up on two themes: One idea is to paint the unseen – as an example I’m investigating artistically about the wind, a light breeze, a soft movement of air – noticeably only from the effect the movement has on items of the visible world, that are flaunting, waving, streaming… And as much as you can’t really stop the air from flowing, I often paint with uninterrupted brushstrokes – gestures you can’t roll back or correct a lot.
The second theme is somewhat related. It’s all about the lucky moments that may happen when the subconscious takes over and guides the artist’s hand during action painting.

Flock of birds

Why do you think painting the unseen is interesting/important?

An epigram of Erich Kästner, Socrates appropriated, beautifully sums it up: It's true: The questions are the ones from which what remains is born.

Think of that child's question:
"What does the wind do when it's not blowing?"

This theme is about knowledge and searching, learning and exploring… I believe that asking myself philosophical questions is important to keep my artistic practice alive. I find out new artistic approaches every day by thinking about "What does the wind do when it's not blowing?"

As a scientist - I studied physics a while ago - you might ask yourself: Has the possible answer got something to do with the rotation of the earth, with air pressure, with meteorology? Or does the wind simply not exist, when not blowing – since the phenomenon is defined by the movement of air?
But as an artist, you would also explore the individual emotional and philosophical aspects of the natural phenomena.

Loft I.

How do you capture the action paintings, what is your process? 

Children often recognize immediately how I work: I actually throw fluid paint at the canvas. Sometimes I fling it at a certain angle and with a twist of my shoulders and wrist – and often I nudge it a bit further, if it forms puddles. It’s pure fun! Spray paint can be a step in my process of adding layers on top of each other – respecting of course the time it takes the work in process to dry. If you push forward too fast, not yet fully dry colors will blend into the layer on top, adding interesting effects to the overall composition. Working with media like shellac, acrylics and oils, the repulsion of one medium against the other often adds a component of the unforeseen to the overall outcome. Nevertheless I find myself in the driver seat, selecting the colors, movements, directions, and making choices between transparency and opaqueness or guesses of how media will interact with each other.

Red Hot Chili I.

Which are the artistic and less tangible 'ingredients' of your action abstract art works?

Motivation, creative will, spontaneity, flexibility, openness, curiosity, courage – these are the ingredients of my action painting series of abstract artwork. There is so much in life that we cannot control, but we can use our creativity to make something really interesting out of the chaos! If both, myself and the beholder can appreciate the process and the results, I’ve reached one of my artistic goals. I aim to share associations and inspire other people to pick up some of the energy of the creative process.


Who has influenced and inspired you in your art?

Living in Munich, I am in the privileged position to see a lot of contemporary positions on exhibition in the local museums and galleries. Artists whose works have influenced and inspired me are Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning (especially the late paintings) and the German painter Bernd Zimmer.

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Abstract artist Anja Stemmer Reviewed by JaamZIN on 12:02:00 PM Rating: 5
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