Artwork of the month April

Regina Marxer, Der Grund, 2011–2013

Regina Marxer

* 1951, lives and works in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Der Grund, 2011–2013

Stretcher frame, canvas, primer, pencil
160 × 160 × 4 cm
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz


Regina Marxer's group of works known as Der Grund (The Ground) dates to 2011–2013. In the traditional style, she applied a ground to square canvases, the usual base for oil painting. She applied three layers of white ground, using different supports–some finer, some coarser–for the paintings. To spread the moisture of the paint more easily and quickly, the stretched canvases were placed on the floor to apply the ground. The artist, who observed the process of making and drying, and thus the reaction of the materials, in minute detail, describes the process as follows: "The canvas which slackens and then contracts again when applying the ground. – The traces left by this canvas work on the ground, in addition to the traces of the brush used to apply the ground. Many imponderables, including humidity, that speeds up or slows down the contraction of the canvas, the brush-stroke that applies the white and finally becomes invisible in the white on white. Faults and folds in the weave of the canvas."

The purpose of applying a ground is to achieve a good painting ground that is ultimately no longer visible. The art consists in incorporating all of the subtle effects that play a part—be it the weather, the painterly gesture of application, the structure of the fabric. But instead of using the ground as a basis for painting, the artist began hatching with a thin graphite pencil in order to make the ground itself visible. "By means of pencil hatching, these structures are made visible once again on the white surface. – An archaeology of the background. Immersion instead of dispersion." What is in itself invisible becomes visible, it comes to the fore. By means of her artistic work, Regina Marxer tries to get to the bottom, the "ground", of painting. As she puts it herself: "Investigation of the image as background, and of the background of the image. The background of the traditional image, consisting of stretcher, canvas and ground, as the object of investigation."

Christiane Meyer-Stoll


"How was it possible for someone to invent perspective that goes against all regularity"

Regina Marxer

<b>Regina Marxer, Der Grund, 2011–2013</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.