International mosaic exhibition underway in Aldersbach

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Pictured above: Visitors to the exhibition

DOMO e.V. is currently holding an International Mosaic Exhibition as part of the Aldersbach Art Walk in and around Aldersbach Abbey in Germany. It runs until 4th November 2023. Here, we find out more and feature some of the mosaics and artists exhibiting.

By Rhona Duffy

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The Aldersbach Art Walk 2023 is dedicated to mosaic, providing the German Organisation for Mosaic Art (DOMO e.V.) a unique opportunity to showcase the evolution and the diversity of this simultaneously ancient and contemporary art form. The overarching theme of the exhibition is: Timeless – Mosaic Art in Transition. It runs from 20th May to 4th November 2023.

Aldersbach Abbey

Over 90 artists from 15 countries submitted artwork in response to DOMO’s call for entries. The international jury team – curator of the Aldersbach Art Walk Willi Berger along with mosaic experts Renée Malaval, Enzo Tinarelli, Nathalie Vin and Virginia Zanotti – chose 57 works to be exhibited in the interior rooms of the abbey. In addition, there are 11 sculptures, which are not involved in the jurying process, on display in the Baroque Garden.

Enjoy this selection of just a few of the mosaic works on display and find out about the artists and the inspirations behind their pieces.

Milagro by Petra Zattler (63 x 35 x 35cm)

Petra Zattler, German mosaic artist and member of DOMO and AIMC, works and teaches in Munich. She participates in various national and international exhibitions. Her works are known for their organic, fluent forms and strong bright colours. Andamento and harmonious colour transitions are her way of meditation.

On the inspirations behind her work Milagro (pictured above), she says: “The wonder of life. Out of water, fire and the treasures of mother earth, new life is born.” 

o.T. by Ivan Djidjev (52 x 62 x 10cm)

Commenting on his mosaic work, Ivan Djidjev says: “I create my mosaics from hundreds of tesserae, or individual pieces using different materials like stone, glass, metal, cardboard or smalt. I always consider the durability, thickness, colour, light reflection and ease of cutting when I choose my materials. When I create the design for my mosaics, I always reckon that when the human eye sees a mosaic, an interesting thing happens. The mind eye looks at all those small pieces, makes sense out of them as a whole, and assimilates the image in the viewer’s mind.

“I try to adopt an image for a mosaic by emphasizing the elements that strengthen the design while simplifying, or eliminating, those that confuse the eye. I think that a stylised approach gives the mosaic a contemporary feel that enhances it. My mosaic is like a three-dimensional visual language. The elements of this language are shapes, lines, colours, tones, and textures – used in various ways to produce sensations of volume, space, movement, and light on a flat surface.”

L’Oeil du Temps by Brigitte Raison (50 x 50cm)

Brigitte Raison is a French mosaicist who creates her own works and transmits her love and knowledge to her students in her mosaic studio near Aix en Provence in France.

On the inspirations behind her work L’Oeil du Temps (above), she says: “Is time an illusion? Science has taught us that time is not linear but intimately related to the speed of light. Circles have no beginning, no end and emerge everywhere in the universe, from the micro- to the macro-cosmos. The viewer will have to observe this mosaic from a certain distance to discover the illusion.”

Bipolar by Marita Schauerte (54 x 35 x9cm)

Marita Schauerte shows metamorphosis, faces and contrasts when she imposes a glass mask on river stones. By reducing nature to outline and form, she gives it the opportunity for change and transformation. The metamorphosis is not only reflected in entities, thoughts, moments and feelings, into which she transforms the stones. The stones, as if weightlessly installed on the wall or standing as a sculpture, contradict nature and confirm the metamorphosis from natural stone to an object of art. For this, she makes use of the possibilities which contemporary mosaic art and mixed media offer.

In contrast to the expressive, exuberantly colourful masks, she is fascinated by the photorealistic work using mosaics. In these compositions, she reflects the mediatized world with its cut-out images of a filtered reality, an alienation process also facilitated by the use of digital image processing. As a starting point, she uses photographs of objects, animals and people, which she processes on the computer and then translates into the medium of mosaic. Through the subtle reduction of details and their dissolution into surfaces, she removes her motifs from the real world without completely abandoning their connection to reality.

Commenting on the inspirations behind her piece Bipolar (above), she says: “Even without a medical diagnosis our personality can be described as ‘bipolar’. We are seldom one with ourselves. The many facets of a person are shown in the different masks he or she wears on different occasions. What kind of mask are you wearing now?”

Erdbeeren by Thomas Denker (20 x 100cm)

Like most of Thomas Denker’s mosaics, Erdbeeren (strawberries) is made after a photo. Having a background in software and electronics, the artist lets his computer translate photos into the 300 colours of the Donà glass factory in Murano.

Denker says about his work: “It’s a sort of rematerialisation of photos. Once at least a layer of silver, photographic pictures have become just a sequence of numbers. The implementation of a photo in glass can revitalise its content and (at least sometimes) reveal message layers not so obvious in the original photo.”