Wim Wenders

I consider myself lucky for lots of reasons.
Here’s two of them…

One of the first things I see when I get up in the morning
is a relatively small and unframed painting
depicting a landscape devoid of any details.
There is a soft horizon line, (is there?)
there is a sunset, (or sunrise?)
there is the land below, (really?)
there is the sky above, (maybe?)
but at the same time there is nothing of it all really there.
You could also consider this a completely abstract painting
with horizontal layers of colors.
But the depth of these colors,
their texture and their strange haziness,
as well as the light glowing over that “horizon”
and the entire “experience” condensed into this fragile canvas
turn it into just that:
an image of a somewhat calming, warm, soothing
unknown, faraway and remote place on Earth.
Yes, this is a landscape!
But no, you can’t go there.
Nobody has ever been there.
And even an ardent traveler like myself, I can’t set out there,
except via this little painting.

I again consider myself lucky
when I get home in the evening,
sit on the sofa and stare out of the door in my living room wall
into the most amazing wide open space.
Well, it’s not a real door I’m looking at,
it’s a painting of a door, of course.
But it still leads out of my apartment,
out of my city,
out of my (and anybody’s) worries
into a miraculous, dreamy landscape
towards yet another horizon.

This is one bright red door!
There’s dark green (grass?) outside.
Sunlight streams into the inside and onto the floor
and casts a harsh shadow.
Even in the middle of the night
I feel the warmth of that sun!
My sofa seems to become part of this pleasant room.

Again, you could say there is no “room”,
no “inside” and no “door”,
and of course neither a “landscape” nor any “outside”,
it’s all just painted.
If anywhere, it’s in my head.

Well, I know better.
This painting is so gentle, so rich, so inviting,
so utterly welcoming and evocative,
yet so simple, compact and stripped of any details
that it, in fact, doesn’t merely show a door anymore,
a room inside or a horizon outside.
I sit there and stare at the door and the horizon instead.

Can things be metaphorical and concrete,
abstract and utterly real at the same time?
How do you paint “the essence” of an open door,
revealing an idealized landscape
with almost heavenly light streaming into a room,
and maintain its physical presence?
Yes, this red door feels so solid and real
that I wouldn’t be amazed if it would suddenly move
in the slight breeze I feel coming through from the afternoon outside.

I close my eyes and I can still see this painting…
All the horizons I ever looked at longingly
seem to be represented on this canvas.
If it is “painted from memory”
then my own ones are burned into it as well.
(You might have guessed:
The horizon happens to be my favorite “place” on Earth.)

I open my eyes and look at Robert Bosisio’s painting again.
I don’t think anybody ever put “the horizon” onto a canvas like he does.
How did he manage to create an image of something
that is so concrete and so utterly fugitive at the same time?
It seems to me that nobody ever grasped its contradiction so thoroughly!
Just think about it for a second:
by definition, you can never reach the horizon.
(No wonder I like it so much…)
As you approach it, it keeps moving away from you!
Only in Robert’s paintings
the horizon (and the longing for it) finally settle down.
Peace and stillness surround us.

“Beauty only exists in the eye of the beholder.”
We’ve all come to know and accept that aphorism,
but did it ever hit you
how much more evident and obvious that saying applies
to the horizon?
Your eyes create the horizon!
You shift your point of view,
and it shifts.
You drive towards it
and it drives you crazy with its ever-changing appearance.
Is there anything more evasive
that we take so much for granted at the same time?

Robert depicts both aspects of the horizon:
How real and unyielding it appears to us,
how necessary to have it in front of our eyes,
and how elusive, fictitious and delirious it becomes
as soon as you consider reaching it.

The same with those doors he keeps painting.
They lead out,
and we catch a glimpse of what’s out there.
His doors make us aware of an outside,
while they solidly place us inside.
“Inside looking out…”

“Sehnsucht” is the German word
that entirely define what Robert is painting.
“Longing, yearning, craving, aching, desiring…” are the English efforts
to translate it.

“Standing in front of a door”
is our permanent situation in front of any painting,
“staring at the horizon” our existential condition
while looking at any art. (And life?)

That’s what Robert Bosisio paints:
our disposition towards art,
our human condition as dreamers.
He paints our innermost “seeing” into his canvasses,
in a way that enable us to define from scratch
what we expect from painting
and why we love (and need) it so much.

He does that with no ostensible effort,
with an incredible richness of texture,
with a daring palette of colors,
(as if he had just single-handedly invented a few new ones,)
with layers of depth and shifts of focus
that we might yet have to learn to discern.
(Don’t all great paintings teach us things about perception
that we weren’t aware of before we saw them?)

As I told you.
I’m lucky.
I can stare at his horizon in the morning
and walk through his door in the evening…
I feel there is nothing that can comfort (and heal) my eyes more these days
than seeing through the eyes of a painter.
Thank you, Robert.

Bosisio Wenders