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1.4. Special: Meine bunte Welt / My colorful world

Author Frauke-Maria Freymuth-Gennf 
Verlag / Publisher Paradigma Press 

April Fools Day! A book, way too good to be for real... but perhaps this is still fun to read, even after April 1, 2009...
Right on schedule with early spring the new volume of this proliferate author Frauke-Maria Freymuth-Gennf reaches the market. At first look you feel slightly confused with the title. Strict bi-coloring, black on egg-white background prevails throughout this illustration compilation volume. A common denominator of Freymuth-Gennf´s oevre is the stoic steeliness, expressed in the repetition of circle forms. Are those supposed to be Mandalas? It seems that the sun symbols of Maya culture inspired her - or is it a much more primal power that is expressed here, abstracted to the very limit, to an existential, meditative level?

But let us also pay attention to some illustrations in detail. Those dominant thick outlines stand fast, like the city walls of ancient Vienna, contrasted by a delicate lineage in the inner circles, where a playful distortion reminds us of classical Art Deco basics.
Quite diverse are the graphical forms. One example reminds us of child-like simplification of flowers, others seem to draw from the lily-symbols used in the crests of European nobility. With those works the artist achieved to explore the contrasts her strict abstract form language in a dialogue with the monochrome coloring.

And still we cannot find out what the author wants to tell us. Does she pay tribute to upcoming spring, or should we get lost in this labyrinth lining, just like Heraklion in ancient Minoic Labyrinth of Crete? Reminiscence of lost civilisations are evoked.

In a final observation it has to be mentioned that this minimalist colour language does spark our fantasy and evokes the desire to lay hands on the design of those pictures ourselves. Should the title of this volume indeed be understood as a subtle invitation? You could indeed imagine that those flowers should rather be yellow, or those lilies better had a blue background. But all that is left to the individual view in the eye of the beholder.

Sonja Kappes

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