Petra Aichholz’s intriguing mixed media paintings flirt with minimalism, abstraction, and sign interpretation to achieve a new way of reading the world. Aichholz works primarily with two subjects: constrained abstraction, and the simple geographic map, which people know the world over. Her abstract paintings are streamlined down to basics, with only minimal forms, entirely flattened planes, and one or two colors. Within a few outlines Aichholz creates patterns with freely-flowing lines and wild, clashing brushstrokes that both create visual depth and call attention to the painting’s physical dimensionality. Her maps are still more contradictory and fascinating. She takes the universally familiar form of the seven continents and recreates it in different materials, such as acrylic and sand, and colors like garish pink or blaring yellow, all the while infusing it with her characteristic dynamic brushstrokes. With each iteration, Aichholz folds in new associations and implications, and asks us if what we see is really the whole story.
Aichholz was born in Stuttgart, Germany and currently works as a full time artist. Among the materials she works with are gold, sand and copper.