From March 5th to April 15th, 2024 I am part of the Artist Residency in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende.
We are international artists hailing from Argentina, Germany and the United States. This Spring we are coming to San Miguel de Allende to create an Artist Residency. All of us were artists in residence at ESKFF, the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ. We are coming to the rich artistic community that is San Miguel de Allende to continue the creative journey that was born at ESKFF.
I am proud to announce the next exhibition where I can present my latest pictures!
WHEN: From March 1, 2024 to April 30, 2024
WHERE: ARTEG Art Gallery Tegernsee
"Abstract and expressive - the works of the color virtuoso Annette Werndl are internationally appreciated and exhibited. The monograph assembles her works from the past years which were inspired mainly by sojourns in the United States and especially New York, and by the development of the music of the time (jazz, blues and pop)."
Jürgen B. Tesch is a publisher and art connoisseur. He publishes the Edition Jürgen B. Tesch with Hirmer Publishers.
The book was published in October 2022 at the book fair in Frankfurt, Germany!
Annette Werndl draws inspiration from music when painting that stimulates the independent and well thought through color use. Memories of squares, streets, and landscapes with their voices and noises heard leave traces in the chosen colors.
Her paintings are characterized by strong colors which develop a luminosity through contrasts. The color reacts with dependency yet stand-alone concentrating on each tone without competing. With concentration and a musical sense of color, Werndl creates a unified visual personifying sound in complex forms of harmony across tonal diversity.
Annette Werndl thickly applied and multi-layered paintings revealing deep underpainting on the surface. Sometimes it is also exposed by scraping off layers. If these lower layers are applied with intensive colors, it appears as if the entire painting would bubble like a volcano under the surface. One senses dynamism and energy that discharges beyond the borders of the picture into the entire space.
Residency at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ, USA (June and July)
Residency at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ, USA (April until June)
Planning and realization of the Academy of Fine Arts at the Alte Spinnerei in Kolbermoor (until 2014)
In addition to professional work, seminars and courses in painting at art academies and at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Alte Spinnerei, Kolbermoor
Master class with Professor Jerry Zeniuk
Master class with Professor Hermann Nitsch
Start planning work, interior design for private and business clients in Germany and abroad
Travel in the United States, Mexico and Canada
Diploma in interior design, Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences
High school diploma in Deggendorf
Boarding school Kloster Seligenthal, Landshut (until 1969)
Born in Deggendorf
I’ve known the work of Annette Werndl for a long time. What had interested me about the painting Swinging Lights 1 (Mount Fuji) is the naturalistic imagery, a mountain. When I look at a painting, I ask: What should I look at? and What does it mean? First I see paint: paint on the surface, paint as a gesture and paint as an area. Then I see the mountain, which is also paint.
I see paint on the mountain, and I see what could be a sky that is painted in various colors. But when I look at the sky, it is more paint than sky. This dual role of color interests me. The paint is on the surface, and it is in the image. It is both at the same time. I consider this a metaphor for life. To portray, to present, to reveal, to confront: contradiction. And in the end, I have to decide what I’m seeing and understanding. There has to be enough interest to make me reflect on what I’m seeing. And that interest is the presence of the materiality of the paint. The image is only a vehicle for the color and paint. Its materiality gives the painting power: the power to hold my attention. In the end is the question: Do I want to keep looking at the painting? Identity is another point of interest. Annette’s paintings have a color scheme that is like a voice: identifiable. Her color is cool, and the resulting light depicted in the painting suggests depth. All her work has this color and light. The depth or pictorial space can be different. In this painting, I enter the pictorial space from the bottom and go to the top. The sky returns my focus back to me. So I enter the painting, have a visual experience with paint and a mountain, and return to myself and my thoughts about what I’ve experienced. Then what does this painting mean, or is that important? Well, that’s what’s interesting: I have the impression that making this painting is the only important consideration. And it holds my attention. Being alive and interested is all that counts. This painting fulfills my expectations.
To clarify the intention behind her art, Annette Werndl likes to explain that “pictures lend a room support and energy.” This is a perfectly comprehensible statement, but it’s one worth taking seriously. It is remarkable, first of all, that Werndl is especially likely to make it when showing photos - on her Instagram account, for example - of one of her paintings in a domestic setting, in a room filled with furniture and everyday objects.
In the early phases of Abstract Expressionism it was felt that paintings were most effective when displayed in bare gallery spaces, but Werndl, whose work follows in that tradition, no longer considers the “white cube” to be the ideal location for art. To her thinking, one underrates art and fails to challenge it sufficiently if one thinks it needs to be displayed in sterile isolation to have an effect. On the contrary, she feels that her paintings reveal their true qualities only when she places them in spaces where people routinely gather - living rooms, conference rooms, and offices. There one can see whether art can make a change, give the space “support and energy.” But how can one expect this of paintings? And how does Annette Werndl expect it from hers in particular? They almost always feature many different colors, some very strong and occasionally applied across larger areas. Still, they never seem to be a garish, dazzling confusion of colors. Instead, thanks to strong contrasts, her works take on a special radiance; her colors necessitate each other, as if in collaboration rather than competition. Certain Abstract Expressionists lend atmospheric richness to their painting by reducing its coloring, narrowing the color spectrum, but Werndl follows an opposite, more difficult, approach. It takes courage to rely on many colors at once, and moreover to accept unfamiliar color combinations initially perceived to be inharmonious. Only with great concentration and almost a composer’s sense of colors can a uniform resonance, a higher, more complex form of harmony, be produced above all the conflicting tonalities. Since Annette Werndl does so, her exquisitely balanced paintings can have an effect on an entire space as well as the people in it. And what else could better provide “support”? But that’s not all. The “energy” Werndl speaks of is perceptible in her paintings. It is largely created as a result of her habit of painting in layers. Color emerges onto the surface from the lower layers; sometimes it is exposed by scratching off the layers above it. In this way the impression of depth and movement are created. Especially when intense colors make up the lower layers, it seems as if the whole painting is seething beneath the surface like a volcano. One thus senses a distinct dynamism and energy, and this can extend beyond the edges of the painting to charge a whole room. At the same time, it can seem as if the painting is not a static image at all, but rather in continuous transformation, an ongoing happening. Since a single brushstroke or the way Werndl has drawn a palette knife across the surface of the painting again and again allows one to reconstruct how a painting was produced, one feels like an eyewitness to the creative process. And since this process does not appear to have concluded, one can even imagine being caught up in it, switching from a passive to a more active role. At best it can feel as if one’s own creative faculties are being set free. Also, because Werndl’s paintings exude such energy, they are motivating and stimulating. This makes it all the more important that one encounter these paintings not only in a “white cube,” but rather in a place where people live, work, and congregate with others. Only there can one also direct the experience of “support and energy,” incorporate it into one’s own life and let it bear fruit. The effect of a painting can persist; it does not exhaust itself. In this, paintings are even superior to music, for once music has died away, nothing remains. It is only able to provide “support and energy” while it is being performed. This advantage of pictures is often overlooked or underrated - presumably since in the early years of abstract painting it tended to be justified by a comparison to music. For centuries, visual art had been related to literature, theater, and rhetoric, but abstraction created a major break, for now art divested itself of pictorial narrative, and in exchange created a world independent of reality. Accordingly, abstract art was initially on the defensive, and it was only the comparison to music that seemed to give it support. Almost of necessity, abstraction was seen to be imitating music. But it has since developed its own traditions, its own history of specific techniques and stylistic approaches. For that reason, one can now better appreciate what abstract art can achieve, and in what respects it can be superior to music. Paintings like Annette Werndl’s do not have to be protected in a “white cube.” They can and should be presented in as many different spaces as possible, so that they can fully exhibit their special qualities.