In the blue began with an excursion of the artist with the architect Marco Serra to an observation tower on the Gempen, an elevated area on the outskirts of Basel. A place where the volcanic history preserved by the landscape continues to reveal a powerful perspective of time and change. A place where people gather, still today – to look out, reflect, wonder and also a place where people are known to commit suicide.
Standing on the ledge, nothing is obvious. The view stretches far towards the Jura, enveloping field, forest and stone. I imagine the landscape filling with water, slowly transforming onto a vast ocean. Miraculous. Resolute. The earth cleaning itself, washing away the unwanted, putting itself back in order. A large body of work emerged. I call it: in the blue.
Without dogma or pathos, Angela Lyn, with her careful attention to detail, paints what she sees: cedar trees clinging to the rocks before a relentless drop off, the blue earth reminding us of our temporality, birds of prey looking on in silence, a child with closed eyes, full of trust. Gestures that tell us – one way or another – life goes on.
Angela Lyn’s works are lyrical, seemingly gentle, but by no means leaving the viewer untouched. Combining her eastern and western origins in her subtle language as a painter, Angela Lyn’s observations engage. Her approach to the canvas is one of concentration and empathy. Through a genuine enquiry into her subject matter, and an attentive use of her medium, Lyn creates an evocative presence in her work. Applying thin, translucent layers of oil paint, she creates a sense of space where the light resonates from within and the focal points remain suspended in the void. It is here one feels the influence of the artist’s Chinese background.
In an innovative approach to the function of a gallery exhibition, Angela Lyn and Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie go a step further in engaging with the audience. Within the evocative presence of her paintings, the artist transforms the gallery into a gathering place where participants are invited to host their own events – workshops, conversations, performances – in response to the shared uncertainty of our time. In a piece called everything leaves a trace, the artist will document the on-going events of the exhibition on numbered pieces of cloth she used to clean her brushes and collected over two and a half years of preparing the works for the exhibition. These will be sewn together in an on-going process, creating a blanket of response to being in the blue.
Angela Lyn (*1955) is a Swiss artist of Anglo-Chinese origin. Having spent her life between the UK, USA, Taiwan and various parts of Switzerland, her diversity is palpable in who she is and the work she does. She is known through her numerous exhibitions and lectures in Switzerland, Taiwan and the UK. Her works can be found in corporate, private and museum collections.
Marco Serra Global Chief Architect at Novartis, Basel, studied architecture at the ETH in Zurich. His interest lies in the dialogue between man and nature: inner and outer. It was in this context that Serra came upon Angela Lyn’s work. Since 2016 a conversation developed with the artist regarding the human relationship to space, time and our fundamental connection to the earth, from which the exhibition evolved.