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16.50" x 11.00" x 0.00"
series of indian inkdrawings in various sizes, 1989; 1989 Indian Ink drawing and brush each 420 x 280 mm each signed and dated down right "1989 S. Kalff"
Death Dances the pentamerous cyclus, is part of a workgroup of drawings, paintings and skulptures, all sharing the same subject matter, death, and they all originated in the space of time between 1997 (when sibyll Kalff started to study fine arts at the "Fachhochschule Köln") and 1990, representing the first self-contained group of works of her artistic production. as predominant figurative and abstract styled variations of the theme, that abandon any storytelling that could frame the drawings, they are completely focused on the encounter of the human being and death. their imaginary verbalisation can be settled between the outmost intimate embrace "in the midth of life we are surroundend by death"and completely unleashed dances. apart from anthropomophic figures, we find continously emerging imaginary animals, animal skelettons or enigmatic phantazised hybrid creatures (the artist named them "humantaurus" beings). the initial point of the deathfiguration was the "shere zest of drawing", likewise the very intense studies of nude painting and nude drawing since 1986, when she started to stuy at the "Sommerakademie Trier" after achieving her hghschool diploma (german Abitur). in equal measure of importance she felt her travelling to and around nepal in 1987, "where she spontaniously made lots of drawings", landscapes and figures, but as well "hybrids, mutiliations and nightmare visions", when she returned to germany. likewise spontaniously emerged the allways new variations of the death and deathdance theme, original and continous in drawings (graphite, wax crayon, shellac or indian ink) and since 1989 as well in numerous larger-then-life acrylic paintings as well as cast and wire sculptures. the artist named "severe illness and deaths in her family, childhood in germany in the consciouness of it-s horrifying past, the fascination for prehistory and early history, bhuddism, taoism, literature, travels, the bone ornaments in the catacombs of Roma, (...) as a background of her being drawn to that subject matter. the creative examination of death was connected to an incresed zest for life and meant for her " the pure being, the beauty of the moment, the now, to experience each and every moment as intense as can be" (Sibyll Kalff in a letter to the curator of the graphic collection). the motive of "the dance" is emphazised in the five drawings from the "death dance" series from 1989, where you find more abstract structures of lines instead of the most of the time stylized man-animal-hybrids. the suggestive power of the wildly moving and into eachother devoured strokes of the brush, evoking middleaged round dances, shows the absolute mastering of the attempt to find completely new forms of expression for the old motive by the use of a very reduced and abstract language. apparent is the approach to show death in it-s abstraction and commonality. the cycle belongs to a group of works, formulating the death theme, that leave the path of the consacred depiction and "transcends the old idea of the death imagery only via the title associations" (box page 251). with the gestus and the inspiring character of the powerfull and expressive strokes of the brush, that the visual effectiveness of the drawings derive from, the artist was able to realize her personal sentiment in her work as "movement and exstacy, the dance of the brush" or the "moments danced by the brush". Eva Schuster, curator of the graphic collection "Man and Death" from: "Death dances from the late middle ages up to the present" - an exhibition of selected works from the graphic collection "Man and Death", Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, 2001 (German and Japanese version of the catalogue)