Ute Bertog

Region: Midwest

Intrigued by abstraction and its reluctant relationship to language, I paint text. Yet I am not a writer. Instead, I collect words and phrases from what I see, read, and hear on any ordinary day. My goal is not to follow language’s lead toward transparency, but to explore what the intersection of painting and language can tell us about both.

I transfer text into paint while fully recognizing that painting with its full-spectrum color and silence is not the natural habitat for words. It is exactly this uneasy transfer to a new context that is of interest to me. Painting allows me to emphasize the physical attributes of language.

After transferring to paint bits and pieces of spoken and written language from my environment, I further revise them. Covering, rewriting and retracing are just some of the procedures that slowly transform the text until the viewer’s ability to read is severely undermined, and a new and delicate balance between painting and language has emerged.