„I try to render visible the formation process of the unimaginably small and the unfathomably huge.“
Judith Milberg, 2020
What did the origin of the world look like? Is cell division an archetypical form of communication? For more than seventeen years the Munich artist Judith Milberg has been asking such questions about the mystery of being, of both humankind and nature, in her paintings, works on paper and, as of late, in her sculptures as well. Just as material, space and time were created 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang, the Cambrian Period was the first era in the earth’s history during which fauna and flora developed around 540 million years ago and, as such, the beginnings of life as we know it today evolved.
Within this material, space and time-related continuum of universal energy the artist positions herself anew with every work. She talks of an inner explosion, an inner need that she allows her unmistakable pictorial language to explore. Experiments with the most varied of materials and techniques form the beginning. Milberg starts with a copper-based ink, adds a specific type of vinegar herself and mixes it with interference and metallic pigments. With considerable physical exertion she rubs pastel chalks, charcoal and pigments onto paper, wood and natural canvases, producing surprising results with extremely fine, powdery-delicate nuances of colour.
Colours in transparent shades, amorphous, ornamental and spherical shapes cover whole surfaces of her pictures, with neither a beginning nor an end and in ever new metamorphoses, layers and fusions. ‘It is wrong to define an upper or a lower’, is the title of one painting – revealing her elemental understanding that there are no hierarchies in art but only interconnections, dialogues and transformations instead.
More recently Milberg has also been making sculptures out of clay. The move into three-dimensionality was long overdue bearing in mind the cuboidal,
spherical elements in her compositions and their dynamically sensual corporeality. She works the surfaces of her sculptures with graphite, pure carbon.
“Carbon in its compound forms is the basis of all living things”, she explains. “We know it in its purest form as the diamond. Diamond is the hardest natural material. When working graphite into the soft clay I feel part of the cosmic creative process”.
Dr. Eva Karcher
Some thirty paintings and works on paper together with around ten sculptures, made by the artist between 2018 and 2020, are to be seen in the Laing Gallery. The exhibition is curated by the Munich art expert and author Dr. Eva Karcher. The catalogue ‘Judith Milberg. Kambrium’ has been published to accompany the exhibition.
Biography Judith Milberg: Born in Munich, Judith Milberg studied art history, Egyptology and communication science. During her studies she founded an art-management company, curated exhibitions, published books and archived private art collections. In addition she devised and carried out artistic and cultural projects for businesses, museums, and cultural institutions. Judith Milberg has been working exclusively as an artist now for seventeen years. Her touring exhibition ‘Judith Milberg. Aus der Mitte’ (From the Middle) in 2017 at the HypoVereinsbank Munich, Kiel and Berlin was a huge success and was accompanied by a catalogue published by Kerber Verlag. (www.judithmilberg.com).
Judith Milberg | Paintings, works on paper and sculptures
February 29 – April 19, 2020