Close by, Close up, close... Proximity, approaching, being close, being confronted, immersing, discovering, perceiving. Olga Jakob's works demand to get 'closer', to study them, to feel their structure with the eyes, to trace them. Her works challenge the viewer to get to the bottom of their materiality, to recognize the individual materials in the works in their interweaving, in order to reflect on them as a whole and to speak about them, and in this way to 'draw new threads'.
Textiles, fabrics, paper, colors are the most important protagonists in Olga Jakob's works. They are almost exclusively textile materials that every human being is confronted with on a daily basis. We are surrounded and enveloped by textiles, with an immediacy that for Jakob is the starting point of her artistic work.
Remnants of industrial textiles, old advertising brochures, products of our fast-moving everyday culture thrown out in great masses and often deemed meaningless again in a very short time.
Olga Jakob takes up this visual and textile inundation of the current consumer industry by confronting textiles with a new aesthetic appreciation, entering into a critical debate with them and finally generates a new context and a different meaning for them in her pictorial works.
Space, in-between space, opening or closing spaces, surfaces, backsides, content and envelope, foreground and depth dimension. The works combine within themselves an immense range of visual impressions and explore diverse sculptural reinterpretations of the classic painting on stretcher. Gauze fabrics, interwoven with fine textile threads, form one of the current groups of works in Jakob's oeuvre. Depending on the color and treatment and highly dependent on the changing incidence of light, these large-format textile color surfaces appear fragile and sensitive or expressive, massive and dynamic in themselves.
The base fabric is crisscrossed by wave-like, brilliantly iridescent lines. They wind past 'open windows' created by separating the woven-in fiber strands from the gauze fabric. In this way, spaces are created that almost magically attract the viewer and raise questions about the 'behind' or the 'in-between'.
The works in which Jakob exposes larger areas of the transparent gauze fabric and in this way plays with spatial and pictorial dimensions are reminiscent of spatial installations by the US artist Robert W. Irwin. Through the transparency of the fabric, the works create an illusion of space and interstice, for which the gauze functions as a membrane between appearance and reality.
By using a wide variety of materials, formats, and colors, the artist's works sometimes have more of an installative, a painting, or a sculptural, almost sculptural character. This is particularly evident in the group of monochrome image reliefs. Jakob works these reliefs out of fabrics covered with tissue paper soaked in paste from recycled papers. The 'inside', the 'skeleton' of the respective picture is covered, veiled, preserved and protected as if by a skin by the sensitive and fragile-seeming paper layer.
In these works, too, the essence of Jakob's works becomes clear in that they address to the viewer questions about materiality, spatiality and everyday culture that have become plastic.
Pia Nika Dziedzitz