Dorothea Hilti paints her pictures from a birds’ eye view. She lays the canvas on the floor and with considerable concentration and precise intention applies the paints to it. Although, the first lines and paint spots appear to derive from an organised chaos, some sort of order appears out of the interaction of colour, lines, and joins together the existing empty spaces. The paintings that result from this process all show something of a similar procedure, but the resulting motifs are anything but alike, so much so that it is possible to identify several categories: church windows, calligraphies, or “secrets de l’atelier”. With this last category she choses pieces of foil that were originally used for covering the floor whilst she was working. This was done in order to create collages. On these fragments, the shadows play a signatory role and emphasise the outline of the body. Within these individual categories the ramifications can again be ascertained, for instance in the treatment of lines and spaces. In somes pictures that were created in the autumn of 2005, this can be predetermined in previous paintings, where dense nets of lines have taken over the free spaces. The areas inside the lines are magnified but nevertheless do not remain empty. They are filled by varying shades of colour which gives the painting a decorative impression. By decorative we mean the harmonising structure of the area as well as the finely balanced colours. The classifications are artificial and are interpreted by the virtual eye.

It is fascinating to see the wide spectrum of Dorothea’s work, as well as her usage of different materials: paper, plastic foil, knob plastic (bubble plastic), old wooden planks, even the bark of trees are all used as painting materials. On the one hand she widens the framework of painting by expanding beyond the area of panel painting, on the other hand she keeps the visual impression of these various materials in her finished painting. It is all about using special techniques and methods in order to find a personal process which works and also to undermanifest enjoyment in the different experiments. The painted bark functions like a “hanging garden” floating in perspex boxes. A new aspect of the knob plastic works of art is that the dry colour is completely removed from the material and is formed into “gilets”, landscapes or into various other objects. Wet newspaper is drapped onto the canvas and worked in with acrylic paint.

Dr. Simon Baur