Rudolf Sagmeister

Without a
and Waiting in Line

Ingmar Alge's images are large and flat, sparing in the application of paint and sparing in representation of people and things: the surfaces appear as surfaces, the colors are the colors of the objects and, at the same time, abstract painterly surfaces and projection surfaces for contemplation. Geometric shapes appear as constructions - as houses, windows, balconies, parking lots, airplanes, mobile homes, dissected surfaces, garage doors, roller blinds, roofs, hedges, satellite dishes, chimneys, clouds, grass, walls and light, shade, shadows, horizontals and diagonals, the far horizon and confined space. Houses without a home, a single-family home ghetto; lowered blinds, awnings, shutters, and clipped hedges curtail our view, secreting, concealing, enclosing; shut-in, solitary, and withdrawn; without any neighbors, turning the neighbors away. What is happening behind the closed doors and windows? Houses as stand-ins for people; dumbly refusing contact, speechless, timeless, waiting for nothing? Mobile homes isolated on the shore, seen against the distant horizon or tightly packed, but without people, empty envelopes, homeless. People in bus shelters, at traffic circles, under streetlights, under the artificial light of lamps in the night, waiting with their suitcases on the road, at the airport, in an airplane, in transit, lost in the asphalt expanse of the lonely parking lot, on a traffic island in front of a sign, leaning on railings, alone amid rows of designer waiting benches. People in poses, lost, with no one to interact with, entirely alone in front of smoothly flowing surfaces of color like islands of life in nothingness. The standardized industrial furnishings seen in the interiors and exteriors are the same or very similar everywhere, wherever the journey leads. The illuminated brightness of deserted swimming pools in the night; the curved shadows on the straight blue lines of the pools' walls, white; the foam of lapping waves on the night seashore, pale; gleaming plastic chairs in front of a striped mobile home, lonely people on lonely plazas and in lonely interiors like Edward Hopper's figures brought into the twenty-first century. No amount of yoga, mobile telephones, golf courses, palm trees, potted plants, and table lamps can remedy this coldness of being.

© Rudolf Sagmeister
Translation: Michael Robinson

In: Ingmar Alge, Galerie der Stadt Backnang,
Verlag Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2013