OFL is Jürgen Trautwein’s series of predominantly reversible paintings on antique family linen, some pieces up to 150 years old. The series is part of his evolving “traces of times past” multidisciplinary art project using found materials. Trautwein dedicates OFL to all mothers, claiming these paintings honor mothers, grandmothers, aunts, great aunts and ancestors, who kept their linens meticulously and carefully folded, where the material embodies a sense of history…with an energy, he says, “radiating invisible traces of love, joy, birth, suffering and death.”
The folds and creases and quiet details become the structural base for monochrome paintings punctuated minimally with traces of seams, hand embroidered monograms, cut edges and buckled or wrinkled areas. In some pieces the artist uses a process of transferring paint off of plastic sheeting under the painting on the floor of his studio. His process of painting on plastic from his 2015 “Sister Seven” series is given a new life within this process of transferring paint randomly off plastic, and we also see a few multi-colored pieces echoing the “Topography” series where his paintings on vellum were wrinkled up, letting paint pool randomly into complex textures and satellite map-like patterns. The series is peppered with occasional painted patterns of dots or stripes that seem to have a sense of humor or ask a question. Are they pixels or polka dots...Passé reminders of what was once real?
Trautwein’s OFL paintings are quiet, meditative, detached from an intentional outcome and expansive in their bestowal of the process of change.