Florentina Pakosta


Alongside Maria Lassnig and VALIE EXPORT, Florentina Pakosta is one of the most significant feminist artists in Austria. In her series Trikolore Bilder (tricolour paintings), which comprises formal elements of her still lifes, she completely dispenses with figurative elements, drawing on constructivist compositions. In 1989 the Austrian artist created the Trikolore Bilder as a unique response to the events of that period, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The predicted demise of the dominant political ideologies of that time, the transformation of the power blocs and the resulting economic developments and globalisation inspired Pakosta to examine and revise the revolutionary visual language of Russian constructivism. Rooted in constructivism, minimal and op art, her geometrical formations reflect the increasing interconnection of our media-based society. Recollections of totalitarian symbolism (and also her childhood memories during World War II) influence Florentina Pakosta’s serial compositions. The reduced formal vocabulary of only three colours in each painting symbolises power structures that are interrelated in a highly charged and often dissonant manner. Her paintings express the ambivalence between the utopia of a seemingly limitless freedom and a dystopian universe.