Irma Blank

Celle, Germany, 1934

“Towards the end of the Sixties, after a long period of existential and creative effort, in an atmosphere of linguistic experiment, and to escape the transience and ambiguity of the word, I returned to the sign itself, to the Urzeichen, to the primordial, undifferentiated sign that precedes the word. It was a new start, shifting the gaze to the beginning, to the Ursprung, a pure act of writing, a primeval communicative energy that schooled and realised itself in the sign that in its evolution is writing — scription, to quote Roland Barthes. It denudes writing of sense to charge it with other values.

I save writing from its enslavement to sense: writing purified of sense. I return to the zero point, the semantic zero, the semantic void: silence as a germinating source.

 

I give autonomy back to the sign, to the body of writing, in order to give voice to the silence, to the void. To the thoughts unthought. Writing is not linked to knowing, but to being. Writing is the home of being. I free writing from sense and highlight its structure, its skeleton, the nude sign, the sign that is such and does not refer back to anything but itself. It refers to the energy reserve, to the initial drive, the source-giving urge, the desire to reveal itself, to emerge from the secret, closed place of night.

Nonverbal writing, writing that remains in silence, original truth. Writing becomes image, a manifestation of being, of being there, in the absolute without form. An open text. A text for all. For those who know how to read and those who do not know how to read. I shift the text from literature to the visual arts. Meanwhile, even in the world that surrounds us, images tend to replace words. Invasively. Television and advertising are just two examples.

Writing, place of perdition and discovery.”

Irma Blank, Milan, 2001

Gallery exhibitions

Available Works

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Irma Blank, Eigenschriften, Spazio A-28, 1972, pastel on paper, cm.70x49,5
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Irma Blank, Trascrizioni, Dichtung Version I, 1974, indian ink on parchment like paper, 7 pages cm.13x9,5 each (cm.13x66,5 overall)
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Irma Blank, Trascrizioni, Thinking IV, 1974, indian ink on parchment like paper, 49 pages cm.16,1x11,5 each (cm.112,7x80,5 overall)
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Irma Blank, Trascrizioni, 1975, ink on parchment like paper, cm.30x21
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Irma Blank, Autoritratto E7, 1981, mixed media on parchment like paper, diptych, cm.21x14 each (cm.21x28 overall)
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Irma Blank, Radical writings, Il corpo del silenzio, 29-3-83, 1983, acrylic on canvas, cm.30x30
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Irma Blank, Radical Writings, Dal libro totale, Zweiseitig/doppia pagina VII, 1983, watercolor on paper, diptych, cm.24x17 each (cm.24x34 overall)
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Irma Blank, Radical Writings, One way, 1991, oil on transparent paper, 25 pages, cm.25x35 each (cm.25x875 overall)
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Irma Blank, Radical Writings, Exercitium AD, 1992, acrylic on card, cm.24x34
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Irma Blank, Radical Writings, Schrift-Atem-Bild 18-1-93, 1993, oil on canvas, diptych, cm.90x60 each (cm.90x120 overall)
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Irma Blank, Radical Writings 25-3-93, 1993, oil on canvas, cm.30x60
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Irma Blank, Ur-schrift ovvero Avant-testo VII, 01-8-03, 2003, ballpoint pen on polyester, cm.44,5x39
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Irma Blank, Ur-schrift ovvero Avant-testo, 7-3-98, 1998, ballpoint pen on paper, cm.28x19
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Irma Blank, Hyper-Text 6-2-98C, 1998, digital writing, screen print on canvas, cm.37,5x27, unique copy
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Irma Blank, Hyper-Text, 29-4-1998, 1998, digital writing, screen print on canvas, cm.185x120,5, unique copy
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Irma Blank, Global Writings, La lingua ritrovata, poesia minima, 6-3-04, 2016, digital writing and silkscreen printing on copper-coated aluminium, diptych, cm.30x51 each
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Irma Blank, Global Writings, La lingua ritrovata, poesia minima, 15-3-04, 2004, digital writing and silkscreen printing on canvas, cm.20x34, unique
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Irma Blank, Global Writings, Verfügung vom 25.Juli ‘16, 2016, red marker on paper, 2 pages, cm.35x25 each
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Irma Blank, Global crossing I, 2016, marker on transparent paper, 3 pages, cm.29,5x42 each

Video

Courtesy P420, Bologna
Courtesy P420, Bologna
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