Barbara Camilla Tucholski
* 1947 in Loitz
Pencil on paper. 24 x 32 cm.
Signed and dated: B.C. Tucholski 4.8.2009.
Barbara Camilla Tucholski’s work is inspired by architecturally-defined space and what it contains, both formally and conceptually. Largely derived from seemingly unremarkable subjects – an escalator, a hallway, or a light fitting, for instance – her graphite drawings are made up of different and unusual viewpoints, combining a variety of perspectives often as a result of her own movement within the space – sometimes working from a high vantage point, sometimes drawing on the floor. As well as resulting in complex draughtsmanship through mere minimal lines, this approach leads to a certain abstraction that invests the compositions with added meaning. Indeed, the very process of drawing for Tucholski is a form of meditation, which inevitably reflects the artist’s subjective sensibility: “I am always able to carry a pencil and paper with me and without any effort I can face everything possible. When I am working I forget the object as well as the fact, that I am drawing. I forget myself too. That kind of trance attracts me a lot.”
Tucholski has produced work inspired by public and gallery spaces, but perhaps the most significant portion of her oeuvre derives from the conflicted relationship she has to her childhood home in Loitz. Her drawings bear witness to her preoccupation with the town, which she and her family left in 1953 to move West. Immediately after the German reunification in 1989, Tucholski moved back into her former house and started working there, reacquainting herself with a place of desertion that had been a nostalgia-filled location of longing for almost forty years. A visit to the so-called “Hotel Tucholski” takes the viewer on a journey into the past through Tucholski’s drawings, paintings and artistic arrangements, in the setting of the run-down, empty house. An artist’s book called ‘In the Castle of my Memories’ was published in 2010, dedicated to the house and Tucholski’s “intervention work” that interprets the deserted architecture – an exhibition of the same title was held in 2011. More recently, the artist’s book ‘Window Shopping’ takes its principal material from several interventions she carried out around Loitz itself, when she furnished 56 empty shop windows with canvas panels in bright and vivid colours.
Barbara Camilla Tucholski has held many solo exhibitions throughout Germany, Austria, Italy and France, in addition to her participation in multiple group exhibitions. Her works are held in a number of public collections, including: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; Staatliche Kunstsammlung, Dresden; Städtisches Museum, Braunschweig; Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Christian-Alberts-Universität; Frac Picardie, Amiens; and Casa di Goethe, Rome. More than 80 of Tucholski’s drawings form part of the collection of the Albertina, Vienna and 37 of them were featured in the recent exhibition Albertina Contemporary III (October 2012-January 2013).