Objects, Tatjana Busch
Introduction by Dr. Antje Lechleiter

Ladies and gentlemen,

“Once upon a time there was a square, a circle, a triangle, and a rectangle and the passion for color and for playing with forms”

Tatjana Busch’s words remind us of the Bauhaus. Indeed, the artist has close connections to the German Bauhaus way of thinking as well as to Russian Suprematism and the Dutch De Stijl movement, or neoplasticism. Most of all, her works echo Josef Albers’ famous squares and his studies of the interplay between colors, and they also recall Malevich’s Black Square. But what does Tatjana Busch actually do with these icons of classic modern art? She crumples them, turning their clear, precise, geometric forms into something mobile, playful and baroque. Had these works been created in the 1980s, they might have been categorized as “anything goes” post-modernism. She would have been said to be rebelling against the rational forms of dogmatic, rigid modernism by quoting history and approaching it with irony, appropriating and treating it subjectively. And yet, in the case of Tatjana Busch, none of this is true. Tatjana does not feel the need to liberate herself from anything by giving her art a theoretical underpinning. Instead, she says: “It could be like this and it could also be like that…”. There is no contradiction – and no contradiction with ironic intent – between the geometric and the distorted, the minimalist and the baroque, or the solid and the light. In Tatjana’s work the coincidental is one important factor; the search for shapes and colors is an intuitive process.


Tatjana begins with square, rectangular, or even round sheets of aluminum. Onto these she paints geometric shapes, usually stripes or grid patterns, in clear, bold acrylic paints. She then bends and twists the sheets to form three-dimensional pieces, giving them lightness and a diversity of expression that can only be described as fascinating. The light and space surrounding the piece take on an important role: see for yourself how the striped sculpture on the balcony hugs the railing, or how the piece on the plinth lies in folds. By distorting their two-dimensional basis, the artist catapults their colors out of their original position to stand in new relation to each other. Depending on how the light falls and where the observer is standing, the colors begin to glow. They intensify, recede, darken, clash and diverge. What we ultimately associate with what we see is left completely up to us. A storm of colors? A pile of scrap? Gigantic discarded candy wrappers? We get what we see.


The opulence of these works is balanced out by the artist’s other works. Besides producing these colored sheets, Tatjana experiments with light as a form of energy to create open, moiré-like, flowing works from stainless steel mesh. These “light pieces” disassociates themselves from their material existence and perhaps embody a thought.


As I mentioned a moment ago, these works are created playfully and without an underlying concept. Interestingly, though, the principle of the Golden Section and Leonardo da Vinci’s scheme of bodily proportions (which reappeared hundreds of years later in Le Corbusier’s Modulor) crops up repeatedly in her work. But this regularity is not all that is at the heart of Tatjana Busch’s buckled aluminum plates; some of her sculptures incorporate fundamental notes and can be played like instruments. They form a synthesis between intuitively created shapes and mathematical musical structures, dissolving borders between genres. They also show that Tatjana is seeking light and substance rather than solid inflexibility.