Portikus presents the 1989 award-winner of the Reinhold Kurth Art Prize of the Frankfurter Sparkasse, Nicole van den Plas. The prize is awarded each year to a Frankfurt-based artist and includes an exhibition as well as the funding of a catalogue.

Nicole van den Plas was born in 1943 in Mol, Belgium, and has been living in Frankfurt since 1970. She studied at the Städelschule from 1973-78, among others under Raimer Jochims and Karl Bohrmann. In 1975, she was awarded the Art Prize Forum of the Municipal Savings Bank in Frankfurt, in 1978 the grant prize of Kulturkreis im BDI, and in 1983 the Villa Romana Prize.

The exhibition at Portikus shows new, large-format pictures and drawings; with Nicole van den Plas, both must be seen as closely related, not only because the pictures are also painted on paper. Nicole van den Plas' painting thematises the two fundamental elements of pictorial art as independent, as well as interdependent conditions of a picture. A tendency can be made out in her new works to deal with the means of painting and drawing more freely. The lucid colour grounds of thinly applied paint that is sometimes washed off with water and brush emphasise the spatial transparency of colour, from which emblematic motifs of figural and architectural elements emerge and into which they again submerge. The quickly developed, informal colour textures are at high risk of failing. The gestural act of painting already constitutes the picture, giving impulses for the emblematic drawing, the motifs of which refer to the tradition of painting in Nicole van den Plas' homeland Belgium, while also allowing associations with Italian Renaissance and Mannerism. These eclectic moments in Nicole van den Plas' pictures are, however, never to be seen as citations referring to concrete models, but as allusions to pictorial dialectics, the meaning of which can only be comprehended by perceiving the forms and structures.

Photos: Katrin Schilling