Oskar Rink’s sculptural, white collages recall manifested dream worlds. In the exhibition “Schichten” (Layers), the visitor seems to enter such a fragile world himself: The first impression is dominated by the large-scale, yet entirely lightweight, white wall-installation HÜLLE. Five glass cases are facing the installation, each providing insights into different miniature worlds: Seemingly defying the laws of statics and gravity, the fragile constructions CONATUS (2014), MORGEN (2014) and DER GEDANKE (2014) hover over black pedestals. Only delicate bracings secure the architectonic fragments, joining them together to an intricate composition.
The material of paper lies at the center of the artistic practice of Oskar Rink, who lives and works in Leipzig. Yet, only at second glance, one recognizes that all of her works, spanning from the fragile, detail-rich sculpture to the dress in her photo-series EGLANTINE I & II (2014) are made out of paper. To Rink, the material has become a significant means of expression: In her large-scale drawings, paper serves as a classic supporting medium, whereas she puts the raw material into use for her sculptures. Paper thus takes on many different shapes in these “built drawings,” yet Rink even alters its condition within the artistic process. For example, in the photo-series she turns the paper into a second skin by sewing a dress out of it, only to let it dissolve in water later on — in EGLANTINE II, the model peels of the ephemeral protective layer, which now has been reduced to the seams.
Rink has acquired the specific technique of transferring a two-dimensional plane into a three-dimensional volume in her studies of Pattern and Design. Still developing them further, she consequently accesses more and more dimensions of representation. The origin of this inquiry is her concept of the perspective picture-box. Her work EL (2013) thus has to be read as a homage to the avant-garde painter El Lissitzky, who revolutionized the definition of the picture, as such. Rink furthermore deals with the overcoming of the classic picture frame in her work. Subsequently, the frame has become a recurring motif: it directs the view and draws interest specifically to the parts that it conceals. In her glass case-works, the black edges even become a three-dimensional frame, which generates new images over and over, while the viewer is walking around the work. In DER GEDANKE (2014), Rink manipulates this perceptual process directly by turning the frame itself into an image carrier: Having wrapped the glass with black yarn, she has added a fragile net of fine lines as a layer onto her white world of the paper sculpture. This, at the same time, disguises and binds the imaginative world inherent in the glass case.
It is these interruptions that show how her works demand a second and third look – as every layer contains yet another one. This becomes specifically apparent in her large-scale drawings DER GEDANKE (COLOR) and ROT (ODER WENN POETEN VERSUCHEN DAS WETTER VORHERZUSAGEN), which have been conceived for the exhibition. Rink has applied a special combination of drawing and a wiping technique in oil to conceive the work layer by layer. Furthermore, in her oeuvre, the color white does by no means imply purity, on the contrary, the artist makes sure to display the process, that is the traces of the manual labor within the work. At first sight, her paper works remind of immaculate Japanese folding techniques, yet, these traces induce an unexpected roughness. With these ambivalences Rink captures the viewer’s attention and draws him/her deeper and deeper into her self-created world. Yet, this dream world can turn into a nightmare at any time, as the color white features the specific quality of containing all colors and thus constitutes the ideal projection surface: You can find yourself in this miniature world easily – but might as well get lost.