That which denies us the da capo of life has bestowed the art of Blonay Fuchs upon us: The most sensitive colour poetry, a play of warmth and light, open to the heavens, soft, inviting and full of beauty. Compressed from the pure forces of form and structure, and composed with a secure intuition for intriguingly suspended temporal and spatial relations. As a spirit of reality. And that proffered with an energetic potential of exceptional quality as the artist consistently taps into the best traditional lines from the 20th century. Fuchs realises that Fuchs lives equally from sensuality and persuasion, from visual allure, pictorial streams and addressing his viewers directly.
Blonay Fuchs’ works entice and beguile like alien blossoms. They possess an almost natural freshness and tangibility, with something accessible emanating from and around them, persuading the viewers to give their consent, whispering something to them, rather than losing themselves in experiment as an end in itself. After all of the attacks on formal and contextual relations in the 20th century, Fuchs vividly demonstrates that images with balance and harmony are still possible. And he demonstrates that art is more powerful when the artist creates rather than demolishes with it. His work to date has something all-embracing, combining thinking and feeling, reflection and emphasis within it. In his paintings, colour functions as inner music, traversing contemporised recollective landscapes and inner worlds.
Today, art has frequently become a place of transition for the technically demystified Modernity. But not so with Fuchs, who has quite consciously placed himself within the chorus of those who connect art with the magical moment of awakening and upheaval. Liberated from the old orthodoxies, there is no trace of traditionalism here. Others wither upon the soils of their patrimony. Blonay Fuchs defies and resists the compulsion to have a faithful reproduction of nature, confronting it with a complexion abstracted from the paragons of nature, whose clear correspondence to the flatness of the image permits the recognition of a sensitivity that nourishes itself from the veneration of the apparitions of Mary in the Orthodox Church to an equal extent as it does from artistic beliefs that accord value to concentrating on the inner, on that which is spiritual to the eye.
The selection of works included in this volume spans the period from the late 1980s to the present day. While contemporary art finds itself at a crossroads and is being buffeted by surging and ebbing waves of emotion and empathy, we feel a somnambulistic resonance in Fuchs’ works that does not live from antagonism, but from a well-tempered sense of balance. The strokes forming and shaping his works do not dominate; instead it is the case of the artist pondering upon what he sees, what happens to him and what touches him: The cycles of life and of nature, the workings of the celestial bodies, the dimensions of an all-powerful silence, the labyrinths of spiritual processes – with an eye on time, space and eternity. What we are speaking of here is yin and yang, the two well-named primordial forces as defined in ancient Chinese philosophy that constitute the potential for the energy of life within their connectivity, and which dynamise and energise a complete pictorial universe in the works by Blonay Fuchs. Through this, a being-here, an actual presence of the pictures becomes palpable. Negative and positive forms, the omitted and the filled-in repose within each other and emanate a sense of certainty that transforms each piece into an occurrence without equal.
Works intended as components of cycles or series behave and act together like witnesses to a process between which a temporal distance prevails that, despite the difference between beforehand and afterwards, are borne similarly into the space, at times more easily and at other times more fundamentally, in the fulfilment of their subjects and their presence. And with each work, the artist enters into a new draft or design of the same subject and underscores by doing so that innovation and continuity belong together and that artistic mastery is also distinguished by permanence and recognisability especially.
Fuchs’ Human Trees cycle serves as a good example here. Created between 2012 and 2016, it consists of a series of 25 works, all of which are rendered in slim, vertical larger-than-life-size formats of approximately 230 cm in height [e.g. Pair (2014), p. 60 / Adam (2014), p. 61 / Germ (2015), p. 63 / Caprice (2016)]. Blonay Fuchs develops models so as to reflect in a nuanced manner on the mutually interwoven subjects of humankind and nature, on the human and the natural in their diversity, and on various refractions with references to identity, self-expression and emotion. These models with their vertical alignment speak of and refer to the artist’s inner heavens, with each picture a further planet placed in the world to indicate a direction of that which is unspoken.
A marvellous assertion by Martin Heideggers recounts that:
‘Every great poet creates his poetry out of one single poetic statement only. … The poet’s statement remains unspoken.’
Which means that: Neither a single poem nor the complete poetic oeuvre is capable of speaking, of expressing everything. Yet despite this, an unspoken poem possesses the power to form the wellsprings for continuously new waves and surges of language that, for their part, flow back and obscure the wellsprings. And this balance also permits consideration of what Blonay Fuchs has readied in his pictorial cycles as aesthetic fare. It shows how persistently and zestfully he repeatedly restocks the inventories of artistic language with the resources of his lyrical expressionism, how he takes a breath and then continues to compose and work on his sole poem with the manna of intuition.
The triad of observation, sensual refinement and resonance that are typical for Fuchs in relation to the duality of man and woman has resulted in a diverse ensemble of female nude and couple depictions [e.g. Embraced (2015), p. 83 / Kiss (2000), p. 89 / Flared (2005), p. 91]. In terms of their content, several folding-cut works made from cardboard or paper also fit together with these. All of them pursue the primacy of caution, and less so that of embodiment. It is the hints and allusions to metamorphoses and the constellations rendered in softly abstracted counterform particles that permit Blonay Fuchs’ pictures various degrees of tenderness through to becoming panels of fragility.
The charm emanating from Fuchs’ works is powerful and long-lasting. This is equally true for his paintings, drawings and graphic works as it is for his sculptures. All of them bear witness to how the artist investigates and ascertains himself more and more as an individual, and how he seeks fulfilment in a counterpart, in a relationship with another person, or with nature. Everything that surrounds him, as well as that which is expressed artistically, becomes part of an incessant interaction by the artist with himself and thus inevitably with the history of an individualisation process, including all of its consequences and losses, as well as its raptures and its findingoneself- again in others. Every answer arising from this continuous transformation becomes materialised in colours and shapes, becomes a figure, a landscape, an arrangement, an emotion, a whispering or a sighing – and with the certainty that everything in this life is transient.
Growing up in the sheltered circumstances of a single-child family, Fuchs spent much time in the family garden at Tegeler See lake in Berlin, close to Humboldt Castle, and out in nature. All of which shaped and influenced him. For to him it seems that the soil, the plants and the trees were there for him and him alone, just like the sun, the stars, the night and eternity. As an artist, Fuchs has made an abode for himself in all kinds of seedlings, germinations and growths. He nestles within his individuality, with that which is unique about himself, as one in the cycle of life. And especially because, as per the assessments of leading scientists, climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could already lead to an irreversible collapse of the global ecosystem in this century potentially, one is inclined to interpret the works of Blonay Fuchs as a reserve for such processes, as a final paradise perhaps, and thus to link them to the question of which view of nature is still appropriate today at all as an object, as material, as a subject.
Because life is a farce, Fuchs enjoys it to the full. And even when the human image undergoes a reduction with him or articulates indications of a reorganisation, it does not disappear. The viewer marvels at the artist’s skill in modulating his ménage of shapes and forms, as indeed about the modernity and freshness of his creative drive. With which, for instance, he never presents landscapes as naturalistic scenic views, but instead in a coherently gripping execution of a principle of nature, such as by means of thinly applied oils on roughly grounded jute for instance. There are pictures [e.g. Nocturne (1999), p.15 / Evening (2000), p. 59 / Symmetry and Freedom (2016), p. 77] in which Fuchs undertakes an outright search for the resistant, the granular, for that which intends to reveal nothing other than his structural, frescoesque essence and being. Fascinated by materiality, Fuchs has reiterated that:
‘Granularity puts the brakes on me. It has something of the soil and resistance to it, and it atomises the pictorial surface.’
Blonay Fuchs loves to travel and does so frequently. Travelling embodies one of his rejections of the old, confrontational and overly restrictive world. Yet his dream destinations do bare their specific features and particularities on Canson paper. These consist of a countless number of pastels that seem to show the world to us, Fuchs’ world, in a completely new manner and provide a grand setting for everything. With the greatest possible number of intensive experiences representing that which is most important in life. For Fuchs, every drawing, every line is a sign he applies to counter the void, as a marker that permits contemplation, as a diary entry through which he breaks free from the fast pace of life and looks back upon it. Fuchs travels and records everything he can feed into the streams of his consciousness doing so. His treasure trove of pastels is an enormous melange consisting of sketches, recordings and keepsakes, reminiscences of places and architectural works, objects, ornaments and stretches of land – as images from the story of his life out and about. Doing so, it strives to relate the genius loci and the spirit with each other, to enclose and abstract the visual. And Fuchs takes the only sensible approach here: He lets himself become overwhelmed, so as to gently corral the great chaos of the spiritual and the emotional into the here-and-now somehow.
Blonay’s work is richly varied and complex within its orbits of existential states of uncertainty. As an antithesis to the orderless relations of a world in crisis, one that is driven by capitalisation and globalisation and increasingly bemoans the loss of its culture, we are able with Fuchs to behold painterly, drawn and sculptured visual condensates, in which the assurance is reflected that no other possibility remains for us than to endorse the everydayness of this world and life. Moreover, Fuchs even permits a confidence to grow within us in our own seeing and experiencing in the face of nature, one that pleasurably visualises the utmost in that which is lowest for us.