Yvette Kiessling surprises in her small landscape painting through individual handwriting and her preference of small formats (the size of most of her works is just 16 x 20cm). Her motifs are as old as the earth: clouds, the sea, the mountains, a glacier, a forest, a river. In the history of the landscape painting those archetypes of nature were loaded with pathos. In her pictures however, there is only a far reverberation of it to be felt. The embankments, trees or rivers offer no romantic, or heroic sights. Sometimes a factory chimney or a warehouse show. A waterfall turns into a blue stripe, which stands like an abstract sign in the middle of the picture. Another time a river appears not in blue but in shining white. Those transformations and alienations appear almost unobtrusively.
The picture itself is what the paintress is interested in. For this purpose she gathers the drawings of the landscapes she visits. Her drawings are detailed and topographically precise. In the paintings however, instead of exact enumeration of the details she rather deals with forms and surfaces as a kind of whole. No blades of grass or whole meadows, but spots in green, brown, blue or white determine the earthy effect. The landscape in a state of resting (often in horizontal format) is combined in a tachistic resolution. The heavy and the light are mixed together in cloud formations. The picture of the landscape starts to move from the inside. The paintress expresses the liveliness, which she sees in the landscapes and transfers it into her pictures by means of sketchy brushwork, often using runny colours and arbitrary treatment of light. The traces of the oscillatory movements of the brush remain recognizable. The pictures come into being in her studio so the spontaneous act of painting becomes priority. No more is the landscape is the subject now, but the rise and fall of lines, a rhythm of their movements, relation of colours and light or the interaction of surfaces and depth. The freedom of abstraction in play with realism gives high tension to the pictures and makes them so attractive.
The landscape plays a secondary role in the younger Leipzig painting scene, presently dominated by narrative and abstract painting. All the more remarkable is this artistic position, which handles encounters with nature and the burden of the traditional genre in such subjective and laid-back manner.
Jan Nicolaisen Ph.D., Museum der Bildenden Künste (Museum of Art), Leipzig
It starts with fuzziness. The colour spots and splashes evidence a kind of fumbling on the canvas and prepare a paradox, which we experience in the pictures of Yvette Kiessling at the end.This paradox gives the special quality to each and every of Yvette's pictures and it derives from the way of her painting. The process of painting is primarily being nourished by the tense attention in pouring of the paint and the experience of drawing in the countryside or in front of the model. Yvette, on one hand, uses paint as material and rejects any imitation and she stresses its visual intensity. On the other, she uses the paint to colour the objects and create representational islands in her pictures. Human beings, animals and vegetation appear with hazy background. The synthesis takes always place in her studio. The realistic (similar) meets the non-realistic (not similar). Though this, a remarkable experience happens to the viewer of the picture. Instead of detaching, like the classical landscape pictures behind the „window“ of the frames do, the eye of the viewer come closer and is touched and confused. The material of the paint move into foreground and let the viewer dream of invisible pictures, independently from what it depicts at the moment. Yvette’s pictures always aim at presence instead of representation. The viewer takes the helm, opens the play of associations and finds himself in the middle of the wild embankment.
Matthias Weischer, 2012