Irma Blank

Irma Blank was born in 1934 in Celle, Germany, and currently lives in Milan. Her most important solo exhibitions have taken place since 1975 in cities such as Milan, Berlin, New York and Paris, continuing in the 1980s and 1990s with numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her artist's books have been exhibited in institutions such as the MoMa in New York and the National Library of France.

Irma Blank uses writing with the intention of recovering the primordial symbols and signs of communication. The environment in which her poetics evolves is that of the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s, when conceptual art emerges as the driving current of the period, a fertile ground on which Irma Blank can enact her linguistic experimentation of the autonomous sign.

The first cycles proposed by the artist are the Eigenschriften (Personal Writings), where the page is completely filled with asemantic writingswhere the graphic sign is not separable into further alphabetic units. Blank aims to return to the roots of the self by precluding the viewer from the ultimate meaning of the work, who can only appreciate the mystical succession of signs without understanding their meaning.
Papers, sheets, canvases, books are the surfaces on which the relationship between sign and time is played out. Ink, ballpoint pen, pastels, watercolors, acrylic are tools through which the signs occupy the surfaces, and the surfaces record the time of an existence through gestures.
From the start of her career, the work of Irma Blank has been structured in series of pieces, like phases or movements, even very small ones, along a coherent itinerary. Starting with a limited nucleus of themes and questions, each cycle is crossfaded and linked with the next in a fluid, natural progression.