Lyrics by Raimund Girke

Colour as matter that is tangible and visible.

Colour without meaning something but rather being something.

Colour in which nuances shift, to be experienced as hardly visible and yet still tangible.

Colour as something quiet that remains silent.


In Geplante Malerei (exhib. cat.), Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster 1974

 Colour is always in a state of fluctuating movement and its complementary colour is always latently present. It is not possible to imagine light without dark, cold with hot, liveliness without stillness, heaviness without lightness. The potential changes implicit in colour vitalise the colour fields. The power of the colour values in the various zones, streams and fields of the picture, is the main determinant of the intensity of the painting.


Köln, d. 21.11.94

colour and light


brightness and darkness,

day and night,

night and day,


barely discernible




as light falls.

Rising and descending

in the darkness

and in the light,

of night and day,


Experiencing time.




spanning white and black,

traversing the scale of grey

touching the pure colours,


fluctuating between hot to cold,

expressing stillness without excluding movement

unfolding between silence and noise.


Day and night

the greyness of air,



dwindling light.


Cologne, 12.4.1987   In, Gegenstand: malerei (exhib. cat.), Neue Galerie, Staatliche und Städtische Kunstsammlungen Kassel, Schöne Aussicht 1, Kassel, 1987

About my paintings

Painting is not about recording psychological states or experiences, painting is shaping by artistic means in the most objective way possible. In other words: everything blurred and vague has to be banned from painting so as to create clarity and order.

Painting’s artistic means are reduced to an acceptable minimum so as to enable a sharply-defined image emerge which still harbours a secret despite the transparency of its design. Only by reducing to the minimum does one do justice to each component, enabling every part to unfold its full potential.

Polychromy prevents colour from making an impact, given the constant competition, whereas the restriction of the colour scale enables one colour to manifest its full intensity. The brightest colour, the most luminous and intense colour, is white. White is the Queen of Colours; for colours are the “actions of the light” (Goethe), and white is the colour most akin to the light. Black and grey intensify white, supporting it, while themselves playing only a subordinate role. They modulate white in its infinitesimal nuances, causing it to vibrate and imbuing the colour over the whole picture surface with continuous movement, and thus with life.

In Das einfache das schwer zu machen ist (exhib. cat.), Adam Seide Gallery, Hanover, 1960

In my white paintings, my aim is not to establish a fixed pictorial space but to create a state enabling unlimited spatial freedom to emerge from the movements within the picture plane. This state depends on subtle nuances of undulating white.


White transforms the fast flow of closely juxtaposed layers into a huge, tranquil, constant stream without beginning or end. White refuses to be defined, seeming to expand and change forever. It is stillness and movement in one, boundless, removing the picture from the level of matter. The white layer of paint remains light and transparent in accordance with its origins, causing continuous fluctuation within the painting.


The goal is not limitation and rigidity but breadth, freedom and flexibility.


In, Europäische Avantgarde (exhib. cat.) Galerie d, Frankfurt am Main, 1963


in all its sensual tangibility

as a tactile substance

or nearly incorporeal glaze

in an immense cornucopia

of different intensities,

in an incalculable number

of superimpositions

and interpenetrations,

dynamically written down

or quietly placed,


p a i n t i n g


In, Aquarelle (exhib. cat.) Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel 1984/85