Sobriety and Exuberance

Claudiu Groza (Tribuna, new series, year II, no.16, May 1-15, 2003)

Annemarie Nebert's painting is characterised by an unpredictable, and because of this an always surprising, artistic imagination. Also by a certain mobility in the artistic orientations, that gives variety to the approached themes. If in her first paintings Annemarie Nebert was using a cold chromatics, with ample tones of blue and grey, making up a shady, crepuscular, but not at all terrifying, pictorial universe, the following two personal exhibitions have marked a change of formula. Some warm, lively strokes of ochre, orange, even purple, have insinuated themselves and pastel-brown compositions or chromatic twirls, which seem to gush out of the canvas bi-dimensional space, have emerged.

It is beyond any doubt that the most recent exhibition at the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum marks an important moment in the painter’s artistic biography. On the one hand, such an event can be considered to be a “certificate” of artistic maturity. On the other hand, the large number of works on display offers, for sure, an almost complete image of an artistic profile. As specialists have already stated, Anne Nebert is an artist who belongs to postmodernism. In her works there is an emergence of the non-figurative, of the suggestive chromatic combination, but also a permanent, refined-decadent, appeal to techniques of yore. A typical postmodern manner, similar to the one used in the photographic technique through which the clichés get the sepia hue.

This exhibition has offered to the public both early works – some even from her student years- and new ones. Even though the exhibition is centered on the above mentioned two chromatic directions, it finds its common ground in what I would call “frontier” paintings. For example, “Still Life II”, in which the blue spread gives the impression to dilute itself into light grey and yellow, while from the opposite side spring forth strokes of lemony-yellow. Also remarkable, by their spectacular effect, are the mixed technique works, where non-figurative elements find their counterpart in anthropomorphic representations, namely in paper supported images applied over the canvas. The Cuban cycle is illustrative, the colours used – orange, solar yellow – giving the feeling of torrid, of vital throb. In other similar works, the effect is different: “The Beauty and the Beast” emanates mystery and sadness, “Bull Fighter" has a hieratic atmosphere. There are also some non-figurative paintings in Anne Nebert’s exhibition, reminding, by their chromatic combinations, of Gustav Klimt; (Actually, the author even has a work entitled … Klimt). Still, I have to say that these canvases are not epigonic, but original, because they in fact prolong the posterity of a manner of painting which had a certain impact. I have also noticed, due to their visual force, “Feast”, “White Flowers”, “Composition” and “Africa”. Anne Nebert’s exhibition at the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum was one to be seen. Even if only as a coloured interlude among the dusty everyday sensations.