The 'speicher' paintings whose color fields are inscribed with an abundant tracery of lines also proffer themselves for contemplative viewing, the gaze may retrace the progression of the lines – partially at least – gradually wandering with neither attention to direction nor destination. This kind of approach to the work is related to a form of introspection already practiced in the Middle Ages. The labyrinths inlaid in floors of holy cathedrals were not there to get lost in, as was the case with trivial garden mazes in later eras, but rather served on the contrary as a means, in a slow sequence of steps, of finding inner equilibrium. Tobias Burg, Curator of Prints and Drawings at Museum Folkwang, Essen.
"The underside of the leaf, cool in shadow, sublimely unemphatic, smiling in innocence. The frailest stems quivering in light, bend and break in silence"... This poem like the paintings, is not really about nature. it is not what is seen. It is what is known forever in the mind. Agnes Martin, Writings, 1991.
Eberhard Ross studied Fine Art at Hochschule Essen and at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany and has been painting and drawing for more than thirty years. Ross has studied the philosophy of Zen Buddhism for many years and this is revealed in his art both in the subject matter and in its execution.
In his more abstract “Speicher” works, Ross painstakingly covers canvases, aluminium and sheets of drawing paper with calligraphic networks of lines and pattern that develop organically in a repetitive and for Ross something of a meditative process. Ross is fascinated by patterns in nature i.e spiral forms of shells, leaves, butterfly wings, plant cells. As he tries to interpret the natural ‘lines and curves’ found in nature he is also exploring how the tones and hues of colour are affected by the mark-making. His recent investigation into pale-coloured tones have produced paintings as part of the “Silent Spaces” series.
In his “Starling Flight” paintings Ross has taken film footage of the gathering of thousands of starlings as they fly across Northern Germany. His paintings are literally a snapshot of a moment in a mumuration of starlings revealing the dynamic relationship between a particular group of birds at one moment.
As we learn more about the laws of natural science through advancing technologies of astronomy, microscopy and time-lapse photography it becomes clear that similar patterns of structure and energy occur in the cosmos and in our own world. For those studying Eastern philosophies there is a familiarity with the idea that everything exists in a continuously dynamic relationship and that there are principles underlying the natural flows of Nature. In essence this is what Ross is trying to convey a sense of in his work.
Eberhard Ross exhibits worldwide and is represented in the UK by Four Square Fine Arts.