DAS STIFTER ARCHIV
mixed media on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
acryl on paper 9 x 25 x 25 cm
Das Stifter Archiv is a series of 9 paintings, inspired by the literature of Austrian writer, poet, painter and pedagogue Adalbert Stifter (1805-1868).
In the preface to his novella collection Bunte Steine (Colourful Stones), Stifter advocates „das sanfte Gesetz“, ‘the gentle law’. Injustice and crime can only be eliminated by regaining a feel for nature. That is also why less and less happens in Stifter's works: the silent primaeval power of mountain and trees takes precedence over plot.
But because forests are gradually disappearing, the concept of ‘forest’, currently stamped on our memory, will one day fade away. And when that image disappears, the corresponding word will also inevitably disappear. The language evaporates along with the memory.
De Decker incorporates that abstraction process into this series of nine works. In the first canvas, for example, the treetops remain recognisable. But what was recognisable gradually fades, canvas by canvas, until a figurative zero point is reached in the ninth and final painting.
© Guido De Bruyn (translation Stephen Smith)