Artwork of the month April

Regina Marxer, Katze, 2002, and Kuh, 2002

Regina Marxer

* 1951 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Katze (Cat), 2002 // Kuh (Cow), 2002

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 59.7 cm // 30 x 60.1 cm


The two paintings Katze (Cat) and Kuh (Cow) by Regina Marxer from 2002 depict the titular animal bodies in a two-dimensional, reduced visual language. We see that the structural principle of the two bodies is comparable, with the artist composing the body, trunk, front and rear limbs, and the tail in a very similar manner. With the aid of colour, for example a bright green for the cat's eyes, and a gesture reduced to essential features, Marxer represents the two types of animals in the style of an icon. Although modified, the repeated elements are visible while, at the same time, the artist lends both works a child-like singularity.

While the painterly portrayal of the animals exhibits a visual similarity between signifier and signified, the titles that Marxer gives to the works add another dimension of imaginary, symbolic relation. Language is, after all, not determined by the nature of reality to which it refers. Instead, the interpretation of the linguistic elements depends on an underlying sign system in which the allocation of form and meaning is arbitrary and its knowledge precedes understanding. In Katze and Kuh, then, Marxer plays with the characteristics of visual signs in painting, with the signifier (the designation) and the signified (the thing designated) and their relation to each other.

Having trained as a graphic designer, Marxer went on to study painting and sculpture at Berlin University of the Arts. In her work she gives special attention to the mutual relationship between spatial and social situations, the documentation and storage of memory, and to the exploration of language and image. In addition, she concerns herself with the subject of repetition and variation or, in other words, with "what we see and have not yet seen or have perhaps seen", as writer Michael Donhauser once observed with regard to Regina Marxer.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Regina Marxer, Katze, 2002, and Kuh, 2002</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.