Text - Jean-Christophe Ammann (English Version)

Text by Jean-Christophe Ammann (2012)

Viola Bittl’s paintings (oil on canvas) are endowed with a complexity that has much to do with the way in which each one has undergone a long individual process. Bittl created eight works in just one year. She worked her way up from one layer to the next, not knowing how the paintings would turn out.

They are visually varied, in such a way that one work does not stem from another. There is a point of departure, an idea, and then the process begins, the scope of which extends over months. It evolves in a manner that gives one the impression that the works are similar yet also different. One experiences moments of consistency. The paintings portray themselves, imparting something of their essence through the many, not immediately obvious, layers that are often of considerable substance. They are the consequence of all the layers and interventions. The works allow recollection and memory, concentrated awareness, emptiness, as well as a sense of not knowing to settle.

This essence is difficult to represent. In real life the works appear as though discreet. One could easily fail to notice them. Ultimately, it is not possible to describe them, except from a purely formal perspective, or in a way that relates to their particular associations. (There is a bluish painting [“ohne Titel“, 45 x 55 cm, 2011] that is reminiscent of an underwater scene, but that idea was purely due to my imagination.) The paintings by Viola Bittl possess a hidden richness. Their diversity relates to an examination of the self from varying perspectives. The grounding has been maintained.

What impresses one is the sense of continuity in operation; the time frame involved in their making; the doubt and the self-confidence that is invested into the work. Yet, all of this is not actually discerned by the viewer. Only the multiplicity within the works is apparent. It is the existential that is in itself an otherness in the perception of the world.

Viola Bittl conveys something of the unwavering. In the same way that she withdraws within herself, so her paintings contain a concealed quality. There is a cool, spontaneous glow, articulated as though in slow motion, and which is more perceptible than visible. To put it in another way, they are the traces of an experience, a deep exploration.
Viola Bittl does not reveal her personality. Instead her presence within the paintings appears unfathomable.

Translation Dt.-Engl.: Mark Schreiber