Ivo Ringe – “Blackboards” of painting



by Andrea b. Del Guercio

Translated by Chiara Finadri

Lugano, Five Gallery, 2017

I do not share the concerns of those who, in the name of an alleged scientific purity of art, refuse the relationship between the observation and judgment of artworks with the personality of their author. Without ending up with a reduced list of biographical facts, I consider introducing the perception of human values in judgment on artworks and its production very significant and precious. In Ivo Ringe‘s case, personality plays an important role, which cannot be hidden or excluded when in front of his paintings. His considerable energy and a strong orientation to enthusiasm and existential participation, characterize their value and their expressive power.
When I approached Ringe’s work for the first time, I perceived, on the level of an emotional reading, a state of distance. I noticed an independence of the canvas from its own fruition. This independence from an immediate and often hastily participatory power, revealed to me the presence of its inner conceptual life. Works of a smaller size, perhaps because of their intimate nature, induced my sensitivity to get in closer tune, deepening their knowledge. Thus, with the desire to learn Ringe’s “art making”, after the lively encounter in the studio in Cologne, a small and precious “dark green” canvas is installed in my contemporary collection, in plain sight.
From the visit of the studio and in the collection of works we document in this edition, I have extrapolated and highlighted an expressive heritage resulting from a pictorial culture in which the project and mental space organization play a structural role. The extension of different monochrome surfaces, from green to pink, from black to yellow, becomes systematically the foundation for a process of aesthetic analysis articulated between graphic signs and flat geometries; throughout this process, where pigments provides a specific and significant contribution, the linguistic-conceptual inheritance of the “concrete” European season is enriched with the vital intentions of the pictorial gesture of North American origin. That initial distance between the work and its fruition becomes mental sensitivity first, progressively turning into a process of thought transcription, recognizable in the emotional intensity of the works. This process give birth to works, also of bigger size, that can be defined as “blackboards of painting”; plans that seek in space a state of mind. In big museums’ exhibition spaces, as in the more intimate atmosphere of private collections,
Ringe’s works witness an aesthetic experience that was born and built on the perfect balance between rigor and passion, structure and energy, leading us into a fresh, innovative space in contemporary art. From single works to diptychs and from them to the development of a triptych, there is a prosperity of visual ideas, constantly renewed but maintaining a unity that belongs to ancient art history, from portraiture to sacred painting; Ivo Ringe builds a kaleidoscope of works that transform along vital expressive processes, perhaps as an answer to the 9th sonnet of Rainer Maria Rilke “Wisse das Bild”. In the work of Ivo Ringe there is a resolute aesthetic statement, defined by the determination to achieve a geometric definition of positive space, but also celestial constellations and geographical maps, between paths and trails that connect the “places of thought”. The reference to the ‘blackboard’, in the conceptual sense of “place of research and writing”, introduces an ideal reference to Joseph Beyus, of whom Ivo Ringe was a scholar in the academic years in Dusseldorf. I did not introduce into this interpretative itinerary the reference to the “’blackboard” as a passive quote, but as a hint to the values of drawing lines and identifying spaces, in the intuitive relationship that has always connected science with art, mathematics to painting, philosophy to aesthetics.
Based on this analysis and within the various steps that have shaped its solid aesthetic and its technical-expressive values, we still have to address the issue of the series of titles that characterize the collection of works. A sequence of suggestions that Ivo Ringe openly states, reveals moods and poetic emotions. All the details of an intense, eager and participatory personality emerge through his works that tell about family sweetness enclosed in a pink lattice, a garden with its first greens, the desert burns of New Mexico, a resurrection of love, warm red and orange and yellow for “a sunny day”.

Please find enclosed the catalog of the exhibition.