Series of Works


Rendering (CGI)

1999, 2005, 2009

  • <em>Atelier</em>
    Atelier (37.09), 1999

When Weyermann created her first rendering, Atelier [Studio], in 1999, she selected her own studio as the motif. The empty space is demarcated to the left and right by a window, directing the gaze head-on to a mirror or another scene; the space is softly “drawn” and triggers strong associations with photorealistic painting. The puzzling area in the centre of the picture reveals a piece of architecture which might be the entrance to a house with a window. The scene seems to be mirrored along the vertical axis, whereby the window on the right is brightly lit but there is no light at all on the left. Above this, the top edge of the picture presents a section in black. What we see appears unreal; it merely confuses us and raises questions. It is reminiscent of film scenes from David Lynch’s surreal horror films or the work of Gregory Crewdson, the photographer inspired by Lynch, whose huge, imposing photographs have a disconcerting air, situated between dream and reality.
The work Taller 1 [Studio 1] (2005) is a complex piece, laden with references. The central motif is a camera in the foreground; mounted on a tripod and facing the viewer, it fills the centre of the picture in an otherwise empty room. Behind this, our gaze is led to a second room, which has been darkened. The tripod and the camera it is mounted on appear three times, as might happen with multiple exposures. In the background, the eye is caught by a figure who is materialising from a lit room and about to walk down some stairs.
Numerous references from the history of art are integrated into this composition, the most important of which is Las Meninas (1656) by Diego Velázquez. Velázquez assembles people from the Spanish royal court in his picture: in the foreground we see two ladies-in-waiting (the las meninas of the title), along with the Infanta and several other court servants, while a dog is settled on the floor on the right of the picture. The painter himself is standing in front of an easel on the left, which suggests that the scene is set in a room that he is using as his studio. In the middle of the background we see a man standing in a doorway, framed by light. It is difficult to tell if he is climbing or descending the stairs.
Weyermann studied the painting closely. Just like Velázquez, she added a light source in the background as a perspectival vanishing point, thereby giving the composition a particular sense of depth. We see the artist descending a flight of stairs. This image is projected onto the studio wall and also reflected on the left of the picture, but in this case only empty space can be seen: the figure has now disappeared. It is precisely this moment of movement, of descending a staircase, that strongly evokes two further canonical paintings: Nu descendant un escalier no. 2 (1912) by Marcel Duchamp and Ema (Akt auf einer Treppe) (1966) by Gerhard Richter may well be two more references that Weyermann was thinking of, and that she inscribed into the composition of Taller 1. Just as in Velázquez’ Las Meninas, Taller 1 shows the artist’s studio. A wall-hanging mirror has been added as an additional visual window – Weyermann mounted her bathroom mirror on the wall for the purpose. The mirror in Velázquez’ painting is positioned such that it reflects the picture being created, thereby revealing the patrons of the artist who have commissioned the work: the Spanish royal couple, King Philip IV and his wife Maria Anna of Austria.
The mirror is one of the key motifs in Velázquez’ painting, an “enigmatic play on the topos in art theory that painting is the mirror of nature”.1 This makes Las Meninas a work that takes the self-referentiality of painting as its main theme by dealing with what it can do and achieve. The mirror hanging in the middle ground on the right of Weyermann’s composition shows a window motif that the artist has superimposed on a painterly work on paper, Garten [Garden] (2005). Most of these drawings depict plants. Weyermann viewed them as sketched versions of her personal diary, which allowed her to express herself in a handmade, painterly manner, parallel to the more elaborate renderings. The reference in Taller 1 should be understood as a veiled allusion to her training and her early days as an artist, as well as her enduring close ties to the medium.

1 Cited in: Kacunko, Slavko: Spiegel – Medium – Kunst: Zur Geschichte des Spiegels im Zeitalter des Bildes [Mirror. Medium. Art: On the History of the Mirror in the Age of Image], Munich 2010, p. 278.

Related Series of Works

Related Bibliography

Artworks (7) in the Series

Updated May 30, 2022