We are familiar with the fantastic in Rita Wolff’s work. No floods of blood, no fire belching dragons, no horsemen of the apocalypse.
Enter the gallery where Rita’s canvasses are on show. Fresh air brutally replaces the stale atmosphere. God! What a pleasure this freshness brings! Invigorating air fills my lungs. A sudden intake, no exhaling and my body rises upon the very tips of my toes. An erotic tension invades me.
Each painting shown here is an image frozen in time. Images stolen from dreams or from nature. Images of the sea in flames interweaving silver crests with fire. Images of the earth sliding into sudden twilight and of a sky with glimmers of promises.
Paintings of a silence bereft of words, of music, of the rustling of wings. Two men with horses’ heads silently gambol in a forest with no surprises. No complaints, no cries, no moans, no words of love from the shadows seen behind the screens of illuminated tents. Why this silence oft replaced in the cinema by a sidereal whistle? Why Rita? Why add the colour of silence to your palette?
What do those drowning buildings – with doors and windows already submerged – want to tell us? What can you expect from those crumpled sheets of paper which – in your stillness – you watch flying into the window of the tower –your tower?
Do you thus want to force us back onto ourselves, onto our visions of landscapes and cities, to the fragments of our dreams witch we have to break up into thousands of pieces like a vase, so that they reveal their subtle and distressing messages?
A modern and learned French writer says that painting always reflects the metaphysics of the artist, and that, lost in the delights of contemplation, the true lover of art cannot but desire to penetrate the mystery of the artist. Your canvasses force us gently back onto ourselves; here metempsychosis joins metaphysics. The sensation of the unexplained seems to be supported by the very soul of the artist embolding each painting.
Here we neither deal in premonitions and divinations, nor in curses with parnassian or biblical undertones. We have fleeting images, dreams. Our dreams to be passionate and carnal. So it’s true, Rita Wolff’s art, born of the dreams of real men and women does not throw us back to the fears of passing time, of anger, of falls and vertigos, but to our most beautiful and luminous hopes and expectations.
I feast my eyes upon Rita’s painting and I take heart, like a visit to the museum makes the artist rush back to his studio and his easel.
Paris, February 1997