As Marshall McLuhan once wrote, “the medium is the message.” Looking at Sylke Singelmann’s paintings, this principle finds its fulfillment with all the luminous clarity of immediate perception. Indeed, the term “painting” is but a truncated expression for the different kinds of activity contained in Singelmann’s works. In the guise of what is conventionally described as “mixed-media” canvases, every material Singelmann puts to use screams out with its own individuated identity. Acrylics, for instance, look duly plastic in her works; and the lingering, clay-like layeredness of oil paint enchants the eyes as only this kind of medium can.
Her Bunt Nr. 18 is something like a demonstration of all the tools and techniques one can find in her painterly kit. Composed of a series of vertical planes, each plane has a uniqueness—a texture and coloration—specified by the materials applied to that particular area. As a whole, the work communicates rhythmically. Rather than relying on a single medium to give the impression of a unified space, the painting can be interpreted as a series of actions rendered simultaneously.