A WORLD OF COMPRESSED TIME AND SPACE by Tan Loc Nguyen (philosopher / therapist)

While facing Claudia’s paintings, we may ask ourselves: from which world is the artist ? She offers a very rich visual universe through her collages and acrylic paintings, depicting various characters who seem apparently belonging to the ordinary, normal everyday world. Suddenly, our gaze is attracted towards a detail which makes us realize that it is not the usual reality that we are used to. It might be the military uniform worn by this boy in rigid posture (Camouflage). It might be the real gun carried by this other boy (Matrix). It might be the two women laughing who seem to be alike, almost twins, unless there is only one woman (Sonclave).
As a matter of fact, we could get an intriguing impression, once we may realize that the center of that universe is located in the character’s gaze (children, adults, animals). Who is looking at us? And ourselves, whom do we perceive through that gaze? Claudia’s world resembles an inverted mirror, the kind of unlikely mirror that we look into, while getting inside Alice in Wonderland’s Lewis Caroll. Alice, when entering in Wonderland, Alice falls and falls again, and gets nowhere. Time is getting mad, but also space gets distorted. The only reality is herself. In Claudia’s paintings, the reality is inside the eyes of the characters. Are we the dream world that they are dreaming of? In some paintings, the eyes are not represented. In „Dodge“, we get a curious impression of a boy running and a taxi arriving from the other side, but the encounter does not happen. The painting describes the kind of impossible encounter in our life experience. In „El Guiri“, the character has dark glasses and drives a car. Where do we sometimes blindly drive our existence?

Thus, the composition lies in the intertwining between the eyes and the scene. It’s what makes the harmony of the painting. It’s how the artist express her interiority, the dynamics of her inner life. The eyes are ever present, even when there are not represented at all or represented as closed eyes. We may think of the question raised by Lewis Caroll in Sylvie and Bruno: « Life, what is it, but a dream? » In a dream, we might go into the opposite direction in order to reach our goal; or we could run fast so that we stay where we are. Such is also the reality that we experience in our life. We may add to Lewis Caroll’s question: who’s in the dream that belongs to whom? As visitors, we may look at Claudia’s paintings as an interplay of memories. We are dreaming the world, but also the world is dreaming us. There is reality and its double. We feel moved as we get entering into this universe in which different time spans coexist: young/adult/twins, humans/animals, and also past/present/future. It’s a universe of time compressed and life ready to jerk though the eyes. In the tale The Sleeping Beauty, it’s the very moment just before the Charming Prince is going to kiss the sleeping princess, and suddenly the whole kingdom will rise into full bloom again. The moment is between the dream and waking state.

Claudia Mayer-Mallenau grew up in Bregenz, a city in the west of Austria. Inspired by her grandfather, Waldemar Güttner, a well-known modernist tirolean artist, she began to draw early and kept to it during her youth. She worked at the studio of Robert Floch, in Vienna and held several exhibitions. Today Claudia lives and works in Hinterbrühl and Vienna.

As it is the case for other contemporary woman painters such as Marlene Dumas, Claudia experienced early family crises. She also travelled extensively abroad as a young woman curious to discover the multiple facets of human reality. The diversity of viewpoints on reality is the source of her artistic inspiration. It’s her unique style, at the border of different realities.

2017 december 6th-10th Spectrum/Art Basel Miami/USA
2017 november 4th-10th biennal of contemporary art Mantova/Italy
2017-2018 Exhibition Agora, New York
2017 march – june Exhibition Galerie, Weite, CH
2016 Contemporary Art Fair Zürich
2016 anatomy, online studies, Los Angeles, USA / Glenn Vilppu Academy
2016 head drawing, Apulia, Portugal / Glenn Vilppu ( further education)
2016 Angel Academy of Art, Florence / Martinho Correia (further education)
2015 Exhibition GiveMeASmile Galerie am Schillerplatz, Vienna
2012 Exhibiton Inside/Out Galerie am Schillerplatz, Vienna
2012 Lithography Prof. Woblowski, Vienna (further edcuation)
2011 Silent Auction Bruderschaft St. Christoph, St. Christoph
2011 Exhibition Ars Direct, Vienna
2010 Exhibition Hospiz Galerie, Bregenz
2009 Xenia Hausner, SummerAcademy Traunkirchen (further education)
2009 Exhibition ArtPoint222, Vienna