Landscapes from a new perspective
River landscapes, jetties, pieces of nature or architecture: the motifs of the paintings of the German painter Julia Steinberg often seem very familiar. But in her visual language, which is determined by strong colours, large surfaces and strongly reduced forms, she delivers her very own interpretations and opens up a new, exciting perspective on familiar subjects for the viewer.
Steinberg creates her landscapes in a highly abstracted manner. She often leaves only those contours of her motifs that are necessary to identify the situation. Nevertheless, all works somehow refer to the real world: "Each picture represents an existing place," she says. The few details of her motifs allow the bright colours to unfold their full expressive power on large surfaces. "I want my paintings to jump off the wall," she explains. "The more colour, the more expressive the painting." Just like with the shapes, she does not always stick to reality when it comes to the colours and thus, sometimes paints the sky green or the earth red. Missing scales and the reproduction of some set pieces in unnatural proportions also spread an almost surreal atmosphere.
Surprisingly, words such as "grey", "green", "light", or "blue" appear now and then on canvas. These have their origin in annotations she made on previous drawings and sketches. Steinberg thus thematises the process of creating her works and gives them another level of interpretation with the word-image relationship.
Julia Steinberg paints with oil on linen. But also in the nowadays rare technique of encaustic, for which the pigment is bound in liquid wax and applied hot to the canvas. As this technique allows for a glazed and a pasty application of paint, the surface can be designed very individually. The colours of encaustic do not shine, but they have a high intensity and luminosity. In combination with the depth effect, they give Steinberg's works an extraordinary quality.
Julia Steinberg was born in 1956 and studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. She was a master student of Prof. Norbert Tadeusz. Today she lives and works in Dortmund and Berlin. Steinberg has had regular exhibitions throughout Germany since 1984.