Silvia Bächli


There is a luxuriousness to the work of Silvia Bächli, the luxury of the expansive whiteness of the paper allowed to be empty, the luxury of the simplicity of concept, the luxury of unfinishedness, the luxury of playfulness, the luxury of the amount of freedom with which she approaches her drawings and the luxury of the effortless economy of her line, which is all evidently something which has been developed steadily over a life time’s work. Seen on mass, as collections which is often how they are exhibited, Bächli’s drawings are spectacular. It is interesting also however to look and think about just one drawing. Untitled, 2013, gouache, 60cm x  80cm, contains loosely rendered lines in black on white paper, the lines follow a sort of graph or waveform type movement, across the landscape format, from left to right they then overlap, perhaps three times, or alternatively three loadings of the brush. Depth is created through the play of scale between each peek and trough. Then the thing is left, she knows when to stop, there is no temptation to add or take away it’s done, I would like to imagine, in a flash.

Silvia Bächli is not fazed by repetition. Her drawings often visit the same ideas; grids, lines, intersecting lines, limbs, heads and as in this drawing, something in between figures and nameless forms. Things that spring to mind; figures passing in the street, plant life blowing in the wind, a macro shot of a well-used hair or tooth brush, musical wave forms that measure time, the microscopic wow and flutter, the sounds created through the analogue playback of vinyl records. With astonishing confidence Bächli weaves in and out of abstraction and figuration with ease, finding increasingly acute angles from which to consider the most mundane of subjects and non-subjects; a pair of tights, a grid, dots, nipples, corners, tree roots, mesh, stripes, the marks made by different paint brushes. It is as if sometimes, she allows herself to be totally seduced by the idea of dragging a paint loaded brush (water) across an empty piece of paper. I wonder if she ever makes a mistake. I think not.

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