The photographic work of Inge Dick (born 1941) is to be understood as a consistent continuation and expansion of her conceptual paintings, respectively. Her painting, which she has pursued since the early 70s to the present day – has to do with making colour formations visible, that are influenced by light and its change over time. Her painting can be described as a methodical measurement of light, which is portrayed in her paintings almost exclusively by the usage of the colour white. Only at first sight do her paintings seem monochrome, but as the viewer takes a closer look, the finer nuances and the colour palette found in white, which are revealed through the reflections of light and that were captured on film by the artist, become visible.
Inge Dick tries to get to the bottom of colour realities through her light measurements. For in the knowledge that our perception is subject to conditioning, that lets colours oftentimes appear corrected, her work is conceptionalized to allow light appearances to be experienced in the concrete and in the present time. Her work is not a “mimetic translation of things in the perceptual world”, but is an attempt to portray the ‘immediateness of reality’ in picture-form (Heinz Gappmayr).
Parallel to her painting, she has also been pursuing photography. In general, Inge Dick works with polaroid material, that is especially suitable for her ‘field of research’, as light and its appearance in colour is immediately and distinctly visible. In “Ein Tages Licht Weiß – 13.6.1996, 5.07 – 20.52 Uhr”, for example, a total of 99 polaroids were exposed through a timely series of daylight intensity, that depict a part of a white wall. A decisive factor in the accentuation was the exposure meter: as soon as a subtly differentiated light-value of plus or minus 3 to 4 tenths of a second by unchanged camera focus was given, a picture was taken. This work showed that similar variants of what Inge Dick had to achieve through exact measurements in her paintings, can be depicted with photography: the density of shades of colour through time. The photographed white surface, according to lighting, portrayed itself in an amazing color spectrum of white to the various shades of blue to black.
In addition to her work with the polaroid camera, Inge Dick photographs the blue of the sky. In the latter, she once again displays the extent of her artistic talent with her work on the divine, to want to capture the substance of light and its constantly changing appearance over time. For that which is actually abstract – light and time – Inge Dick tries to make tangibly experiencable through her exact impressions. The blue of the sky – as the color of depth and distance, but above all as the color of light and shadow – is portrayed in Inge Dick’s work once again in all its nuances. A sky, that appears as a constant blue in our eyes, is seen in photographs as a continuous colour sequence of light blue to dark blue.
Inge Dick brings this movement through the choice of small extracts to light: through the allotment of pictures as colour sequences do the changes in colour – influenced by light – become at all distinguishable and visible for the eye of the beholder.
Only recently has Inge Dick begun screening her photographs of the sky with the help of a digitalized picture preparation. The rough screen of the sky doesn’t only show various shades of blue, but – similar to her paintings – an entire palette of various colours, as well. These works are on the one hand a commentary on the colour spectrum which, due to conditioned perceptual experience, often appears different than it really is. And on the other hand, this series of photography lays down the structure in which colours are produced. We are not just dealing here with an attempt to make the immediateness of reality tangibly experiencable, but also with a self-reflection of the medium that Inge Dick uses for her work. Making the photochemical process visible to the viewer, allows the viewer to see that photography – a suggestive medium of objectivity of the pictured reality– is also a medium of the transformed picture and perception of reality. The experienced reality in photography is therefore also a reality that is conveyed through the medium.
Most importantly, however, Inge Dick’s work is about “the portrayal of light through the passing of time – and vice versa – the passing of time with the help of light.” (Eugen Grominger)