PIA LINZ “CENTRAL PARK” DRAWINGS AND BOX ENGRAVINGS
Pia Linz was born in 1964 in Kronberg, Germany. After completing her secondary education she studied painting at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt/Main under Thomas Bayrle, Johann Georg Geyger, Felix Dröse and Christa Näher, becoming the latter’s Meisterschülerin. She has been awarded various different grants, which have taken her to cities such as Rome, London and New York. In 1999 she worked for eleven months at the artists’ residence Schloss Balmoral in Bad Ems as a fellowship-holder of the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz. In 2015 she was awarded the HAP-Grieshaber Prize by the VG Bild-Kunst for her work. The artist currently lives and works in Berlin.
Pia Linz finds most of her subjects in the public space. Her approach is characterised by detailed drawings, which she executes in situ. Whether she’s standing in a park with her drawing board or sitting in a “glasshouse” in a shopping centre, she herself always becomes part of the chosen setting for prolonged periods. In this way she becomes increasingly familiar with both the location and the passers-by during her daily routine. Linz’s works are an expression of this individual familiarization and appropriation. Through her subjective use of visual motifs and perspectives, she makes it clear to the observer that each person’s world view is always the result of the individual synopsis of selected fragments of reality.
The body of work entitled ‘box engravings’ reflects the interplay between the artist’s view and that of the observer. For this, the artist places herself inside an acrylic glass enclosure which becomes her temporary studio. Here she draws life-size outlines of everything she sees around her on the walls of the enclosure. The roof and floor of the enclosure are also included. During the next part of the process the drawn lines are engraved into the acrylic and finally coloured black. Once the enclosure has been sealed it is difficult for the observer to the see the artist’s true viewpoint. He or she can only look at the image from the outside. The once familiar surroundings appear on the inside as a strange, preserved world, which – due to the overlying layers of the acrylic glass walls – only gradually becomes accessible.
In 2005, Pia Linz developed a subjective form of cartography when she “mapped” a large London park. In preparation, she surveyed the length and width of the area by pacing it out and counting her steps, thus creating a co-ordinate system in which she located her detailed individual drawings. The drawings were produced in situ and augmented with written notes on details such as the natural surroundings, the park visitors, overheard snippets of conversation and moods.
During a fellowship in New York the artist decided to tackle the city’s “Central Park”, or rather its southern section with its recreational facilities and play areas. With the intention of depicting the park “as a whole”, she walked the terrain, recording her pedestrian perspectives on numerous individual sheets and adding written side notes, observations and comments. Peculiarly, once the drawings have been transferred into a multi-perspective overall picture, the observer’s perspective changes. Due to the cartographic style of the drawing, one has the impression of looking from a great height at the terrain, which now appears as a self-contained cosmos. Its overall structure can only be appreciated from a distance, whereas the details that bring this cosmos to life have to be deciphered from close up.