Heidi Lamira Woitinek

What is fascinating about her late paintings of cold and wetness is the damp freezing fear that makes bodies and objects clammy and envelops the mind in an icy haze. 

The driving force behind the events is undoubtedly news about climate change and the slow melting of the poles, dressed in an artificial style that is, quite typically in East Berlin, hard-edged and geometrically abstracted, and heightened by a metaphor that has learned to hallucinate via picture titles such as Vereiste Welt / Iced World (2020), Hilflose Maschinen im Eis / Helpless Machines in the Ice (2020) or Der zerbrochene Traum von Atlantis / The Shattered Dream of Atlantis (2021). 

The textile applications that the artist made in 1981, a Still Life with Mask, a Balcony Still Life with Palm Tree, a Still Life with Instruments or a Still Life with Window make it clear that even then the artist let her cubist abstractions arise from the spirit of classical modernism. 

The reduction to basic elements and the autonomy of colour and form underline her interest in the purely pictorial and her playful distance from the ideological orientations in the late phase of the GDR. 

Heidi Woitinek had decided to be anti-impressionist and neither illustrative nor narrative. She did not need the accreditation of art officials. To experiment uninhibitedly and not to submit to cultural disciplining, to release the subconscious as a subversive element, to use techniques and methods in a branched way – that was what she was striving for. She succeeded in this tightrope walk.