I do not know Claudia Hendel’s history, I have never heard her story.
I know her work. I speak of the feelings it gives me.
These objects, these plates, give joy. They are not sad, they are vital.
As if full of strength. They are also strange. But just strange. Not evil.
I feel the strength of someone who loves to search, to find,
but also the joy of someone who loves the task to which they have submitted themself.
I’m going by impressions.
I speculate upon stories that perhaps do not exist.
But I must confess that I feel a sense of geography here.
They are not abstract. These are figures.
It seems like the representation of water in its movements.
In its agitation. Splashes. Overflow.
Perhaps drops. Perhaps pearls.
Decoration. Decoration. Very rich;
Almost Byzantine. Oriental.
There is precision. Work but also violence.
And then the feeling of the mirror. Not so much to reflect.
Brass presents reflections. But I think they are significant here
because they create the effect of change.
As with Wood’s lamp. Its function here is metamorphosis …
For Hendel… the “expulsion” of her painting from the shining support has always signified a forward-moving flight, a blazing action. Today, that destruens moment is somehow transliterated onto the two-dimensional surfaces of the tradition of painting. Basically nothing has changed, at least not in the artist’s unconscious design: because what she had once obtained with brass and fluorescent enamels is now being recovered through the dynamic exasperation of the sign, in the radiant patterns and the chromatic vortex, in the newly released pyrotechnics of a cosmic handwriting…
I would like to have asked you: where do the colors come from before ending up on the still canvases? Perhaps by chance, by material work, the spray from a tube, the flow of acids on a brass plate. Maybe. Or maybe you brought them inside you, through hundreds of nights, and transfigured by forgetfulness and together true to a fact, an emotion.
Giorgio Van Straten
Restless atmospheres , turbulent
like late baroque Venetian skies which,
from creamy whites and loaded grays
and deep with swollen clouds in storm
change to intense purplish red
with a devastating emotional violence,
in the dense material-like magma,
despite the careful smoothness of a surface
which seems to combine the restlessness of the informal
with the dilated abstraction of the monochrome.
With this new work Claudia Hendel resumes,
with a more conscious expressive maturity, her path of ongoing research:
one that has always distinguished her “way to paint”.