Simple forms and vibrant colours define Raphaela Simon's canvases. The clear compositions are consciously simple, structures and gestures are being repeated and carry like a thread through the entire work of the artist. Simon works in several layers, she overpaints and modifies previous elements in a continuous process. However, the traces of editing, of adding and removing remain always visible. Simon gives her paintings concise titles like Gerät (”apparatus“), Schlafsack (”sleeping bag“) or Aufgeräumt (”tidy“). She reduces the single work to a first association, a key word. This provides the paintings with a symbolical character that makes them appear like icons or pictograms and contrasts with the highly charged medium painting.
"[…] Ms. Simon explores the territory between representation and pure abstraction with compositions that mostly center on blue and white vertical stripes with bits of black. She cherry-picks ideas about simple geometries (and stripes) from Peter Halley, Frank Stella and Agnes Martin, but filters them through her own notions of wit, scale, materials and abbreviation. It is of utmost importance that her oil surfaces are layered, which gives them solidity, and that the edges of her many stripes rarely seem ruled, which gives them life."
- Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 2018
Image: Teppichgeschäft, 2016, oil on canvas, 200 x 170 cm