Lisa Mühleisen »No Risk And No Fun« 2014
Emulsion paint, acrylic paint and varnish on multiplex board, 62 x 50 x 1 cm
From a monumental panel, a little smiley - composed of several squares - waves us into the exhibition "Hello illusion!" by Lisa Mühleisen. It welcomes us in the hall of the gallery with the joy of accepted self-deception and with blunt directness. Its intention is clear but, above all, to be taken seriously, as it is symptomatic of Lisa Mühleisen's work. Even though what is depicted on the wood panels is a painted illusion, we take it as true reality and as part of our environment. By providing a stage for the seemingly unimportant and fathoming out what is what is allegedly unambiguous, Lisa Mühleisen questions our learned behaviour and preconceived knowledge in the act of viewing her work. Importance can thus be found in the simple beauty of a void. The formal poetry of a painted blank sheet of A4 paper is part of the potential of an aesthetic anti-hierarchy (see Arthur C. Danto, Art after the End of Art).
The illusion that Lisa Mühleisen embraces here is a pictorial one, the effect of which as depicted is the experience of reality. In this way, the artist turns against any kind of euphemistic thinking and the wish to conceal reality in all its banality - of course, not without irony. Lisa Mühleisen's game of using the image as reality reaches extreme heights, when no more aesthetic assertions can ultimately be made in absolute terms. This form of directness manifests itself in wood-grained painter palettes, leopard patterns, exquisitely sparkling colour surfaces and metaphorical measuring rods.
Lisa Mühleisen's painting may be deceptive, but in no way is it illusionary. It may deceive our senses, but it appeals to the clarity of our vision. Whilst the much-cited aspect of concrete art in Mühleisen's work aimed for directness in painting by banishing illusion, Mühleisen brings this directness straight through the illusion back into the picture. Her work "Double Negative" might take the elegant detour via a double negative, yet it ultimately attains - not merely according to a propositional formula - the same pictorial message as the aforementioned work with the waving smiley: namely, the affirmation of a pictorial illusion in favour of the directness of a pictorial assertion. Or simply: Hello illusion! Text: Nicola Höllwarth