IRMA BLANK | Global Writings

Global Writings
Opening: Friday, September 8, 2017  | 6 – 9 pm
September 9 – November 18, 2017

Galerija Gregor Podnar is pleased to present Global Writings, Irma Blank’s (b. 1934 in Celle, Germany) second solo exhibition with the gallery. The work of this Milan based artist focuses on writing as a spiritual activity, which is more closely linked to a form of expression and less subject to a semantic purpose.

Global Writings is a series on which the artist has been working for almost two decades. During this period, Blank broadens her artistic production by using silkscreen and digital printing as her preferred medium. In these works she presents letters that are familiar, but do not form an intelligible language structure. The recognisable signs and their absence of meaning (which are continuous in her oeuvre) seem to attract and repel at the same time. These artworks are visual studies, not studies of writing in the strict sense or the origin of language. It is a study in which writing is a way of analysing the “I” as a relationship between social subjects and their context. Blank created “a language that doesn’t belong to any culture – or, perhaps, it belongs to all cultures”[1], providing an escape, simultaneously declaring the sign and denying it. Her works, based on repetition, are a disciplined, highly precise and rigorous answer to an alternative language by means of abstraction.

La lingua ritrovata, poesia minima is a diptych of two copper aluminium plaques that draws upon an alphabet of seven consonants, which could be read as letters, but altogether do not represent a word. The use of material and the title ‘the found language’ brings the viewer to a primitive and archaic use of language, where one sign represents all the other signs. The ink and pencil drawings from the Splitter series exempt the sign from the linear structure, revealing the initial drive of nonverbal writing. Both the exhibition and the series Global Writings is the recent research of Irma Blank’s extensive body of work.

Irma Blank is participating at this year’s 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia curated by Christine Macel.


[1] Irma Blank in interview with Barbara Casavecchia, Frieze No. 188, Summer 2017