Klaus Merkel
Let's talk abstract

Published by Distanz, Berlin, 2018
Contributions by Marion Ackermann, Richard Armstrong, Kirsty Bell, Caroline Bourgeois, Julia Friedrich, Walter Grasskamp, Hans-Jürgen Hafner, Pamela Joyner, Philipp Kaiser, Christiane Lange, Christian Malycha, Frances Morris, Hans-Joachim Müller, Mary Rozell, Wolfgang Ullrich, Hélène Vandenberghe

Time and again, lay people interested in art and professionals alike stand dumbfounded before abstract paintings. Following the invention of photog- raphy in the late 19th century, painting gradually liberated itself from a representational depiction of its surroundings and developed its own world of pure form and color. Non-objective works often have something hermetic and mysterious about them; they resist easy interpretation. This book attempts to open up the impenetrable veneer of abstract painting and bring it closer to the viewer. To this purpose, editor Carolin Scharpff-Striebich—collector and director of the Scharpff Collection—conducts trenchant discussions with sixteen leading figures in the international art establishment, each of whom selected an abstract painting to comment upon. These interviews, respec- tively based on a single work, enable the reader to experience the artistic idea expressed in the piece. It’s not a matter of quick answers here, but rather about offering access.

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