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Condensations No. 8.jpg

JaamZIN Creative


Otto Laske




The works in Condensations are “condensed” in the sense that they stem from segments of older works that were of considerable compositional interest to the artist. For this reason, the artist chose specific segments of an older work as a template for new work, by painting into them, performing image operations on them, and otherwise enhancing the chosen segment to the extent desired. He did not bypass any opportunity for bringing the segments chosen to life in a new form. In this way, entirely new work came into being that compacts the meaning of an older work.

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Condensations No. 1.jpg

Linear and curved lines in the foreground give way to streams of downwardly directed color, at the left and bottom broken up by small yellow constellations that enhance a sense of space. Against the gesture of falling stands a tall, linear scaffold in black that, together with a blue roundish shape to its right, frames as well as arrests descending energies

Condensations No. 2.jpg

Limited on its right by a contrasting color band, an impressionistic background opens to swerving red color gestures accompanied by smaller lines in ochre and headed by an energetic black stroke reaching out. Together the shapes form a ‘gestalt’ that holds disparate elements together as positioned ‘in front of’ the background. It is in the center of the work that the contrasting colors merge, right where the greatest density of lines is located.

Condensations No. 3.jpg

Textured streams of color in downward motion, horizontally contrasting in value and put in perspective by an irregularly rising and falling white line characterize this work. A contrasting upper and lower region further delineate centrally unfolding events whose color shading makes them appear as being in motion. On the lower right, a masked face functions as a secondary center of attention so that the viewer begins to wonder about the whereabouts of its companions on the left who largely withhold their identity.

Condensations No. 4.jpg

Evocative lines carve color fields out of a highly textured canvas opening to memories of plant life, simultaneously sketching a portrait of reflective human curiosity. It is the merger of flora with humanoid features that characterizes this work in which the color red seems to put all other colors into the background.

Condensations No. 5.jpg

A black shadow rises between irregular, colored shapes whose ensemble is shaken up by a rising red line that manages to redefine the work’s overall dynamics by way of contrast. The opposition created between black and red infuses the work with astounding energy so that all color values cannot but communicate with each other.

Condensations No. 6.jpg

Framed by two predominant black lines, 4 -5 different layers defined by shape and color become the scene of a multitude of intersecting worlds. On the right, from the crossing point of these lines downward, a world of contrast makes its appearance whose vigor infuses and is held in place by the work’s left side. The balance achieved confirms the unity of the multitudes on display.

Condensations No. 7.jpg

An irregular black scaffold holds together contrasting but complementary color fields. Whimsical lines enliven what otherwise would be a static background. All shapes seem to communicate in a natural manner so that upward and downward oriented energies are and remain in balance.

Condensations No. 8.jpg

A vivid presence of insect wings hovering over water and light reflections characterize this work. The wings are set against a natural architecture formed by rectangular outlines lit up by reflections familiar from observing water. Color correspondences in variations of red form a contrast that energizes the dominance of blue, an impression that is strengthened by a contrapuntally positioned configuration in black.

Condensations No. 9.jpg

Highly dimensional and spatial color and texture contrasts dominate this work, forming a unique architecture. The dichotomy of vertical and horizontal is emphasized, in a way that insinuates movement, especially in the upper middle and bottom regions. A pensive animal head in the upper left makes one think of a cave adorned a long time ago which, at the bottom, is traversed by water.

Condensations No. 10.jpg

Vertical segments crossed by narrower but increasingly broader horizontals of contrasting color scaffold this work. What connects them in the upper part is the color value of green below which more geologically defined strata appear that function as the work’s foundation. Color contrasts abound, both within and between segments. The center of light in the work is found in the upper right. It is opposed by heavy darkness in the lower left. Overall, the center of gravity of the work is sensed to lie in its lower middle.

Condensations No. 11.jpg

Because of the solid dark outlines at the upper left that extend downwards toward the middle bottom, a large space opens in the work’s middle, where the view penetrates far into unknown territory. In the vertical perspective, the viewer notices a fuzzy and irregular tripartite division of the work indicating a progression of light to dark(er). A strategically placed configuration in green aids the perception of pictorial space in the work as a whole. Overall, there is a sense of gentle falling on the left, and of equally gentle rising on the right.

Condensations No. 12.jpg

Lines and organic shapes combine to evoke an exotic ecology that dwarfs human dwellings, responding to many insults long suffered from human thoughtlessness. The reds at the upper left signal a menace of fire. Humanity beware!

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A black grid is crossed by broad colorful lines either pushing it into the background or lessening its intimidating gesture of exclusion by introducing lighter tones. What appears as ‘background’ gives a hint of q lost landscape, of a country now barred from view as a refugee might remember them (despite appearing upside down).

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The eye registers stark contrasts, such as those between compactness and dispersion, not to speak of color contrasts and a dramatic fall -off in the middle region of the canvas. The stark shapes at the right lead the mind to infer it is witnessing a hasty escape from danger, companionship standing against natural catastrophe. And all of that because the artist has chosen a peculiar placement of colors and shapes that causally affects the viewers memory and inferencing!

Condensations No. 15.jpg

Colored regions of differing depth form the background for a filigree of lines massing in the work’s middle. The lines themselves are contrapuntally energized by slightly thicker lines in light blue that circumscribe an almost self-contained energy space. But the work’s linear energy ultimately remains contained by the big, outer shapes appearing as the work’s background whose inner details emerge in counterpoint with the lines.

Condensations No. 16.jpg

The contrast between colored windows and a black/white opening in the upper right makes the viewer wonder what their relationship might be. All segments seem to point to a ‘beyond’. While in the black/white window, one senses an upward movement, the movement in the colored regions changes with the differing opacities of yellow and green. The overriding color contrast between the segments of the work are overcome only in the viewer’s imagination.

Condensations No. 17.jpg

The work presents a tapestry of textures comprising part of a human body at the work’s outer right, which triggers the viewer’s sensitivity to ‘things human’. The latter inspires a narrative that overtakes how the work is viewed, making it hard to view it in terms of pure shapes, colors, and textures. Photographic and painterly energies collide, their collision being dissolved in the direction of the narrative, whatever it might be.

Condensations No. 18.jpg

Against a highly textured background whose ‘windows’ seem to point to a wintry landscape, red and violet vie for dominance, ending up supporting each other in producing spatial energy for situating crossing lines. Positioned at the work’s middle, the lines introduce a contrasting way of ‘zoning’ the work. Within the restricted color palette space wins out over color which is forced into defining shapes in space.

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The diverse but nevertheless unified outer left side of the work opens to multifarious multiplicity of color, shape, and texture. The graphic segments surrounding a prominent blue shape heighten the effect of multiplicity, establishing a third dimension on account of which the irregularly colored, downward directed, middle stream is given free reign that extends toward the lower right.

Condensations No. 20.jpg

A filigree of small colored shapes in the middle and bottom of the work enlivens a half-oval in light blue and green, set against dark, upward shooting energy that makes everything ‘sink down’ to a lower level. The filigree itself holds steady, neither drawn upwards nor falling. Reds, placed over blue and violet, exert a powerful draw on the work, bringing ultimate balance to the movements the piece manifests.

Condensations No. 21.jpg

Of all the shapes making up this work the vertical, dark region on the left (seen as a ‘tree’) provides representational overtones that make the remaining shapes coalesce into a ‘landscape’. The dividing line across the work in the lower middle contributes to the notion of ‘up’ and ‘down’; such that the bottom part of the work is seen as a set of reflections in water. The illusion of houses along that line, contributed by the viewer, is part of the notion of ‘landscape’ that gets projected on the scene.

Condensations No. 22.jpg

Like a mirage, a geometric object rises out of an artificial landscape suggestive of woods, lakes, and rivers. In the lower middle, houses and towers appear that emerge out of nature. In the ecological niche shown, the contrast between the human and the natural world is mild. However, a sense of danger is in the air, introduced by an exploding sun. The work is a childlike outline of the human world at risk.

Condensations No. 23.jpg

A cubistic wall rises whose components let it appear as a tower whose upper level is still out of sight. The drift of the architecture slants toward the upper right where an opening can be imagined. The upward flow of energy that the viewer senses is nurtured by the irregularity, both of color and shape, of the wall’s many components.

Condensations No. 24.jpg

Against a light and dark green background, vertical black strokes in the work’s center take on a humanoid shape that seems to float high above what could be a river. An abstracted natural world reduced to essentials is shown. The surrounding black marks keep the humanoid shape in place whose colored back suggests the presence of a message difficult to decode.

Condensations No. 25.jpg

Overlapping segments, one in ochre, the other in green, together with a third one marked in yellow and black, form a collage in which the large, greenish, segment on the left seems to hover ‘above’ the other two. Energy streams into the work from the lower as well as upper right and is arrested and projected toward the viewer from the upper middle where a mask-like opening resembling a pair of eyes suggests the presence of a ghostly living being. Energies move into and out of the frame from an unseen outside. Inscrutable letter marks appear at the work’s top, as if a secret message had been encoded into the work which remains to be withheld.

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