„A work of art is good if it has grown out of necessity.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, February 17, 1903
- In the timeless realm of the sacred, the past is always present. In what may be understood as art as spiritual practice the artist begins with the simple pleasure of presence. As Franz Kalab reflects upon his own reflection, what follows is a series of sublime compositions and poetry of experience, devoted to themes of the sacred and erotic feminine in the natural landscape; megalithic formations, sacred architecture, and embodiment of the female form. These pastel chronicles journey through time from the ancient to the timeless, from meditation to revelation; descent, re-emergence and transcendence. The delicate powders of these colored chalks turn our attention from the hegemony of modern worldly materialism towards an exploration of the often mysterious beauties of „the spirit of place”. In such places, the artist can seek and also find what the soul already knows.
- Anngwyn St. Just, April, 2012
The pastel paintings and texts of the exhibition „Adorable Landscape” refer to the „Origins and History of Consciousness”, by emphasizing the often forgotten contribution of the feminine.
Pastels, Meditations, and Prayers
From Large-Stone Grave to Chapel
Prehistoric graves are so ancient that they have merged into their surrounding landscape to which they now belong. They point downward into the Earth, into the Great Womb, from which all life came forth. Persistently experienced adversity had the one Great Mother disintegrate into a Light and a Dark Goddess. By virgin birth a son came beside her and grew up, first to a Son-Consort, and later to a God next to the Goddess.
In time, the male God came to dominate and the primordial Great Mother was nearly forgotten. While large-stone grave sites point downward into the Earth, the more recent church towers point upward to the heaven. Many of these chapels and churches were constructed over and upon megalithic sites which have been sacred for millennia.
Landscape and Body
One can view landscapes as female and female bodies as landscapes and old traditions still regard landscapes as embodiments of the Great Goddess. Prehistoric stone monuments and megaliths underscore the motherly power to bring forth life and to take it back again.
Cave Painting and Pastel
The immediacy of painting with pastel colours ties in nicely with prehistoric cave art. In both mediums, the artist applies the pigment directly to the carrier of the image, rock surface or paper, thus expressing that which lives within him in the moment.
Meditations and Prayers to a Goddess
In our Western, patriarchal and post-Christian culture, we are not any longer accustomed to consciously view and experience ourselves from the female point of view, from Virgin, Mother and Wise Old Woman; leave alone to address and worship a goddess. Nevertheless, humanity has seen and experienced itself longer within matricentric traditions, and even identified the genders within this framework.
The Austrian writer Karl Heinrich Waggerl (1897 - 1973) wrote no more than ten lines on a card every day. The current „writing on a mobile device” is very similar. The meditations and prayers are dedicated to an adored one, or originated specifically with a painting.
To Remember and to Hope
The paintings and texts can be understood as an exercise to remember the distant past that still lives on in our unconscious and makes itself heard, in fantasy, dream and vision. So these works want to commemorate the Great Goddess, and to pay homage to her and all her daughters today.
This collection concludes with a radiant window into the possibility of a consciousness and a society which carries a potential to both encompass and surpass the divisions of matriarchy and patriarchy within a unifying dream of the Divine Child.
December 2010, Amsterdam