THE COLORS OF BLACK
"Countless sleepless nights waiting for you, my black beauties*"
This new series from Manuela Luchtmeijer plays with paradox. Searching for light and colors in black? Giving birth to children without carrying them? As in all the work of Manuela Luchtmeijer, we need a story in images to approach these multiple questions which the canvas alone cannot answer.
The narrative is composed of three phases that denote, by their evolving styles, a temporal acceleration until the return to peacefulness. The unity of the series resides in the obsessive pursuit of the goal, each canvas carries in itself equal parts of doubt and of serenity, of joy and of suffering until deliverance. It charts the path from the abstraction of desire to the reality of a presence, abruptly figurative.
The first sequence Insomnia is also the longest of the series. It deals with the question of waiting, a sometimes endless waiting, a waiting for an imagined and dreamed for child, a waiting for a child without knowing when or whenever it will arrive. Faithful to her usual working style, each of Manuela’s canvases is the fruit of a long maturation. The preparation of the base, which takes many months, layer added upon layer until the final result emerges in a complexity of form and relief, a reflection of the overlay of contradictory feelings that have traversed its development. Dominated by blues and blacks (the night, the insomnia), sometimes crossed by flitting lightness (a spirit?).
The second period Annonciation is a dramatic contrast: a child arrives. No, not just one, but two! But who are they? When will they arrive? How can one live with this virtual pregnancy of two black children that instantly nestle in the heart of their white mother? The doubt and the indefinite turn into a violent whirlpool of feelings, transcribed by the gestures of the painter on the canvas. For this reason, Manuela began to paint using acrylics for the last pictures of this phase, which permitted a much more rapid and impulsive working style. The indolent blue gives way to a passionate red symbolizing impatience and the growing love that will surpass blood ties.
Finally Madone a figurative wink of the eye towards the happy conclusion and the present, closes the series in peacefulness and in the concrete. We observe that the mother and the children are of the same color, making of them one.
A NARRATIVE THROUGH EXERCICE OF STYLE
Beyond first meanings that are revealed without false modesty, each canvas is traversed by references, profound or obvious (such as the humor of a divine and virginal comparison). The subject of the series, motherhood by adoption, is also and above all a support for painterly and technical research with the end of creating the greatest possible number of effects in the fascinating depths of BLACK.
* This series is dedicated to my children Lila and Matthieu, my beautiful babies carried in my heart for such a long time, adopted in 2007 in Togo, West Africa.
Counting the nights/oil con canvas/ 120x160cm/ Manuela Luchtmeijer 2009
Immaculée conception/huile sur toile/ 150x120cm/ Manuela Luchtmeijer 2009
Madone aux deux enfants/ acrylique sur toile/ 90x30cm/ Manuela Luchtmeijer 2009