Randolph H. Wolf

About Myself and my painting (momentarily)

 I was born on August 17, 1950 in Columbus, Ohio as Randolph Harold Krebs. After High School I studied sporatically at the Ohio State University's College of Arts and Sciences and took part time courses at the Columbus College of Art and Design - until military service interupted my schooling in 1969. After serving in the U.S. Army I moved around to  New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, thumbing across the country from the east coast to the west coast and back in 1970, 1971 and 1972, often working in Galleries hanging pictures for exhibitions to earn my keep. I was constantly drawing and writing in a journal about my experiences. I became bored with College and undertook a trip to Germany in October 1972 in order to learn the German language in Ebersberg, a town close to München. I advanced on to Göttingen and subsequently studied Medicine at the Georg-August Universität. Afterwards I lived  in Plön, Mölln and Lübeck, working as a physician before moving 2009 to Stralsund on the Baltic Sea in what used to be the German Democratic Republic. I married Olga Wolf in 2014 (whereby I gave up my "maiden name" Krebs)  and have lived and worked in Stralsund and Zarrendorf ever since. I moved into my own Studio in Zarrendorf in February 2018 after renovating a building behind the house where we live. 

Photo: Igen Campos
Photo: Igen Campos

I make use of images that make a pattern, often reminding me of something else; a figure, a face, an animal or just an elegant ornamental form. It's like looking at the floor while waiting somewhere and seeing images of torsos and bison and faces appearing out of the tiles. It's the creation of images that wern't there before in my minds eye.  At first I painted out realistic interpretations using the associations which presented themselves, but stopped changing the images because I would often see something else in the same motive a while later. I'm literally fascinated with the phenomena of rust and aged or weatherbeaten objects and surfaces and the patterns they bring about.  In this sense rendering is a basic component in the expression of what I see. Diego Valasques paintings and even James McNeil Whistler's drawings along with the incomparable and powerful expressiveness in relatively few lines drawn by Rembrandt van Rijn leave me both breathless and envious.

 

The rendering of a tree, face, building or an animal with a simple broken piece of conté are forms we can  easily associate with. Although these things, beings, and objects are individually different from one another, they are recognizable and can be categorized in our memories. Forms we've never seen before cannot be easily categorized, there is no existing drawer in our minds to place them. So we really have to look at them to percieve them. Where does this new unknown form belong? Do I know it? This is a process which takes place in the observer. It's his or her own chemistry of experience, that convey emotional information from color combinations and forms rendernd on surfaces. These are perceived and felt differently by differerent observers. By putting two or more forms overlapping or against each other, movement can be suggested, like a subtle ballet of forms and colors.  Willem de KooningJackson PollockCy Twombly......if their paintings were music, what would they sound like?

 

Elated with how color themselves seem to change when placed next to other colors, somewhere in the brain's eye, I have avoided blending the colors , but prefer, at least at this moment in time, to put them unmixed boldly contrasting, tantalizing or complementing each other side by side.

 

 I have no qualms about being an autodidactic. I can still share the exhilarating experience of painting, and of course the results. I therefore invite you to take the time to really look at one of my paintings, see into it and experience it. For me the main purpose of looking at a painting is to let it work on me and recognize what is it doing to me while I'm contemplating it.  Looking at art teaches empathy. It also decelerates time in our hectic world.

 

Randolph H. Wolf

artist@randolph-wolf.de