A picture is always more than that which can be seen. A picture is what is left over from a longer creative process. It presents itself to us as the product of an extended developmental phase, which is, at its beginning, a departure into the unknown. An artist like Eva Kaiser takes up the task to create a picture, yet without an inkling of how it will look in reality. She does, however, have an inkling of how it should not look. That is why she regards the development of a picture with greatest skepticism. Then she is both artist and critical instance. She regards the emerging piece of art with confidence and skepticism and she recognizes when she has run aground. Then the colors do not correspond, forms arise that do not belong in the picture, and so she begins to correct it, arranging the color and formal relationships anew. In this way, the painting changes; it takes on strength, intensity and it starts to glow. When does the shine begin from within, when does it stand with an irrevocable presence so that the way it looks now is how it must, with no further possible outer tampering.
When it has been declared fully complete and exhibition-worthy, the picture reveals nothing more of this difficult phase of gradual growth. The agony and the pleasure, the calculated considering and spontaneity are absorbed within it, no longer visible. But without this agony and this pleasure, without the calculation and the spontaneity, it would not exist. When one looks closely, however, these pictures have an effect on us which is somehow related. They agonize us by leaving us utterly alone, offering no aid, so that we must find our own bearings in this world of Eva Kaiser. They please us, because, in accepting that we have no outside aid, we seize the liberty to move within the picture according to our own imagination.
We see how the colors co-relate when they are colliding head-on, we observe how shapes and structures emerge in ways found nowhere else, we are amazed at how a unity coordinates completely independent movements.
These pictures seduce us to take risks because we lean on our reasoning skills, if left to ourselves, and we search for reasonable explanations, clinging to the tangible, the hefty brushstroke, the course of the colors, paying attention to wherever we might find a center to which everything else gravitates and from which everything is propelled. We follow the movements which are inscribed in the pictures. Slowly we discover where the events crowd in and where the places unfold in which stillness has settled. We thus become agitated, since the movement, the drama of colors and shapes will not give us rest, and we entrust ourselves to a contemplative mood as we are hypnotised by the balanced, calmed spaces. This is no contradiction: the pictures of Eva Kaiser are both stormy motion and settled stillness, it merely depends on which side of the emotional barometer we find ourselves momentarily. The seamy side of calculation is where spontaneity resides, and thus Eva Kaiser´s works cannot be had without this state of suspension.
Kaiser relies upon the swift gesture, the unpredictable inspiration that occurs now and only now. She submits to the wild nature of the inner unhindered expressive will that does not seek to be lovely, flawless or effective, but instead to leave its individual trace of an immediate sensation. Only with some distance does the artist know what part of her spontaneous volcanic stream can be retained and starts to revise the picture, to form and redesign. She tames her spontaneity by the strength of her will. Thus these pictures are a constant struggle between reason and irrationality, spontaneity and control. And the person who wants to can see that this battle is hardly over yet. It is still taking place in every single picture. Rage ravages the organization, the thought-through construction conflicts with the unrevealed raw material. Every picture, a new attempt in coping with this inner tension of color and construction.
Eva Kaiser studied with Jacobo Borger and with Hermann Nitsch, allowed herself to be influenced by both, but not forced. She obtained the tools of her craft and now she is on the way to finding her own artistic identity.
Others do this too, but it is simpler for those who restrict themselves to reproduction. They content themselves with where their ability happens to be, it does not trouble them to undermine the limits of what they can attain easily. Eva Kaiser, however, takes a new risk with every picture to attempt something which would not occur without her.
„No symbols, where none intended!“ said Samuel Becket, the great Irish poet. He could have penned the motto for the art which we see here by Eva Kaiser. She refuses to produce an exact replica of the visible world. She defends herself with all her might against offering suggestions and remarks that explain anything about the present state in which we find ourselves. The moment she has the sense that she might have conveyed fragments (however fleeting) of our personal reality onto canvas, she begins to destroy the impression. Her pictures are color and form arising out of the depths of the inner person, where no one, not even she, can perceive it truly. That explains the astonishment at the results, the clearly visible remnants of a self in tumult.
Is this not all intensely private? Why should we be interested in the emotional soaring, pivoting and plummeting of a person whom we do not really know?
We could protect ourselves from the attack of the emotional realm upon the protected borders of our well-ordered world by standing apart from it, letting the picture have its effect on us in its entirety as organized space, admire the play of colors, enjoy the hard edges and soft blending, observe how background emerges when some colors are more prominent than others and push to the fore.
Then we see art as an aesthetic phenomenon that cannot affect us since, by the time it hangs docile on the wall, the combative process of becoming is past.
We could allow the attack of the emotional realm upon the protected borders of our well-ordered world by yielding to the inherent process, letting ourselves be drawn into the intensely vibrating realm of these pictures without knowing the outcome as the dynamics of the combative interaction of elements is continued in our soul. Then we are Eva Kaiser´s prisoners, enchanted by the soothsaying of her pictures, against which there is no magic spell.
Dr. Anton Thuswaldner