Inside / Outside 18
Original minimalist abstract painting by Kirsten Rotbøll Lassen
- about Kirsten Rotbøll Lassens painting
The window is the recurrent motif in Kirsten Rotboll Lassen's paintings. In fact, she doesn't paint anything else. In the beginning her paintings were more decorative, but the potted plants on window sills and other small details have gradually been "weeded out", while the compositions have become simpler and more tightly constructed.
The general impression is almost graphic, characterized by large surfaces and vertical and horizontal lines. Rotboll Lassen has moved in the direction of the empty space, where monochrome color-surfaces dominate the canvasses, and she seems to be focussed on how little is actually necessary. Empty space and the non-narrative aspect make the paintings more open in relationship to the observer. You can think with the picture, instead of having everything spelled out. Kirsten Rotboll Lassen mixes elements from art history and small everyday details (like the pattern on a window shade seen in passing) with elements she has made up herself.
Even though the paintings are figurative and have existing window types as their point of departure, Rotboll Lassen is clearly very interested in formal considerations relating to composition and color. In this way her paintings are at the same time very formal and cool and yet also homelike by virtue of the recognizable everyday life that spontaneously makes itself evident.
Kirsten Rotboll Lassen herself perceives her paintings as figurative and realistic. But they can also be seen as abstract. As far as I can see, they resemble that part of abstract expressionism which is called color field and such American artists as Ad Reinhardt, who believed that "art is art (and not anything else)" and Barnett Newman, who like Reinhardt implemented a completely abstract, geometric and at times almost monochrome painting style.
Seen from an art historic point of view Kirsten Rotboll Lassen's paintings seem to be engaged in a discussion with modernism, and that part of abstract painting that started with artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich. In Rotboll Lassen's case it is also interesting to look at a Sophie Taeuber (1889-1943), who with her patterned grids heralds the American Pattern and Decoration movement in the 1970s and especially Robert Delauney (1895-1941), who had his first breakthrough with a big series of, in fact, window images, Fenetres, made in 1911-12 and exhibited in 1913. Delaunay's pictures did not depict windows in the same concrete sense that Kirsten Rotboll does. His pictures were rather windows into the painting than to the world. - Kristine Kern, marts 2007