Text by Thomas Trenkler

Myth and Metamorphosis
About Regina Anzenberger's Paintings

The myths of the Australian Outback as a source of inspiration: the magical effect Regina
Anzenberger strives to achieve with her gestical painting is grounded in the fine-grained sand
of Alice Springs. Its deep carmine lends qualities to the paints which could never be achieved
through simple mixing. The sand's crystalline structure also produces the broken, finaly shimmering luster that makes the oil paintings seem like desertscapes of remote planets.

They conceal secrets, buried, hidden, camouflaged. For Anzenberger, painting is an ongoing process: Superimposed layers reflect the individual phases of continuous rework. Dissatisfaction with what is usually only a temporary composition and a predilection for destruction are actually only peripheral traits. Using a technique which has matured over time, the artist brings out polarities such as tension and harmony as well as structures and plasticity.

Her panel paintings, often square, undergo a metamorphosis that goes all the way to abstraction. In the beginning there are usually the essential lines of concrete motifs from nature and the universe, based on geometric shapes - oval stones in the bed of a brook for example, blades of grass or leaves. This subject matter gives the individual paintings their names - "Philodendron", "Shooting Star", "Tropical Forest" or "Water on Stone" - even when it can no longer be discerned under the layers of paint and sand. Pastose, undiluted, rich colors against monochromatic backgrounds ... these compositions define the structure and decisively mold the character and effect of each future painting.

The sacred order, concentrated on the essence, is then transformed into chaos: Anzenberger buries the relief structures in paint and sand, eruptively, brutally. Gradually, after a series of superimposed reworkings, the indistinct, shimmering "soup" gives way to new contours which are either based on the old structures or deliberately disclaim them. in some places, the individual layers are exposed like at some archaeological dig, but Anzenberger never completely reveals inherent secrets. The fascination lies in the insinuation, in the breaks between the individual layers of paint and sand, in the magical depths which capture the beholder. And - as synthesis of the process - in the cyclic harmony.