“My toes were in the fine white foam of the shoreline, heavy like old silk lace. I noticed that the wet sand by my feet was a rusty red while in the top of the sky above me there was the softest tint of aqua. In the middle of the waves there was deep turquoise sparkling with the bright reflections of the sun, as well as bands of translucent green gold and lavender that lit up in turn. The surf sparkled and splashed brightly. At the same time everything seemed magenta, and the whole surface of the water vibrated with light as if the color spectrum showed some extra hues here. I wanted badly to go into it and so I did.”
When Evi Vingerling describes being moved by the sight of the ocean along the coast of California, by the water’s intense play of color and light, she expresses an experience in which forms and structures arise in her, physically, by way of emotion. Those ‘inner forms’ that become manifest in her are directly linked with sensorily perceived reality. A recent series of paintings on view in her solo presentation at the gallery makes it clear that Vingerling’s work has become more personal due, in fact, to the key role given to that ‘inner form’. That is to say, it focuses not so much on form and style as abstract, theoretical concepts, but rather on the body as an active messenger that steers the process in which the image takes shape.
One of the works in Me as a Mountain consists of three pinkish red forms against a background that ranges from reddish brown to light blue, the color of the desert in the pale twilight. The elongated, narrow forms set down on the canvas in lavish strokes evoke a vertical movement. The title of this work, Unballing the Fist, 2023, refers to the release of muscle tension: here a physical reality serves as the basis for the process in which the painted image has been developed. The body, represented in the three abstract-looking vertical forms, is rooted in an open environment which, purely due to the suggestion of the colors, can be recognized as landscape.
The use of titles as a means to underscore the personal aspect is new in the work of Evi Vingerling. When speaking about her recent work, she brings up Walt Whitman, the nineteenth-century poet and essayist who wrote: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
In Me as a Mountain Evi Vingerling tries to reunite the forms that she always sought outside herself with inner form. Her inner form as much as ours: for here is an urgent desire to take a deep plunge into this overwhelming sea of colorful energy.