“Art is another dimension…”

Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Hildegard Christina Risse


Paul Zimmerman: Your paintings range from abstractions to expressionism. How do you select your subjects?

Hildegard Christina Risse: Well, I don’t make a subject selection. I get my input from visiting exhibitions, galleries, I look through art books and art magazines on all kind of subjects such as abstraction, expressionism, figurative as well. My last book on art was „Unrealism, new figurative painting“ , which I got a hint from an American friend. All those have an impact on my paintings. I start with making color choices. I always try to get my own interpretation. I have a solid artistic education: 4 years at a private art academy in Düsseldorf/Germany with diploma and then 3 years with Prof. Markus Lüpertz (the international known painter, sculptor and author), at a private art academy in Kolbermoor near Munich/Germany, one year as master student with masterclass graduation. This was the most important time of my studies.

PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

HCR: The most challenging aspect is that from the very beginning I do not know what I am going to create on the canvas. I only make a color choice. But after the first few lines, spots, brush strokes I can feel a connectedness which guides me how to go on.

PZ:  What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?

HCR: Sometimes I paint very quickly, sometimes it takes long, sometimes when the painting seems to be ready I am not able to say how I created it. Thats the flow.

PZ:  How do you know when the painting is finished?

HCR: I live quite a time with the painting in my flat outside my studio. It must show me a certain spirit, and after quite a time I know whether I can show it or not.

PZ: Have your practice changed over time?

HCR: Yes, a lot. I started with more or less constructional geometric forms in thick acrylics, I worked on lyrical silent paintings with soft pastel colors and now I paint with acrylic, oil, chalk, ink and marble flour. On top of most paintings I set an accord by using lines on it.

PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?

HCR: I am definitely an abstract painter very much influenced by the master Markus Lüpertz. I am always on the way to explore new techniques but  the color language has a clear priority. I often use my hands instead of a brush when painting to feel the sense of the color.

PZ: Which artists influenced you?

HCR: I have been influenced and still be by painters like Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and others. I like very much David Salle, Eric Fischl, Tracy Emin, Julian Schnabel.

PZ: What is art for you?

HCR: Art for me means freedom, life, art is another dimension, it is an emotional touch, it is the language of the soul. For me personally indispensable.

PZ:  What are you working on now?

Presently I am focused on a „study week“ in my old academy in Düsseldorf during January 2021 on the NY SCHOOL abstract paintings during 1940 to 1960 .

PZ:  How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?

HCR: The pandemic time let me consider more the situation of our planet and how EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING can change from one day to the other, the vulnerability of all species. Painting gives me the possibility to calm down. Of course it will or has influence which might perhaps be seen only later when the situation changes. Of course it had influence as regards exhibitions. I was invited to attend ArtExpoNY in 2020 but it has been postponed to 2021. Whether I can still participate is another question. I am invited to exhibit in Iceland which I would like to do, too. You see, so many possibilities but presently I am concentrating on my work only.


artist’s website


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