Art is not the reflection of reality, it´s the reality of a reflection.

Inger-Kristina Wegener, 2024, Kappeln

These words fit into the energy of Annette Selle’s colours. What I mean by the term “other worlds” needs to be explained. The works are about seeing; these are not pictures of linear, bold messages. They demand less an intellectual engagement with their subject matter than an engagement with seeing and what seeing is for people, and how it shapes understanding, understanding before the rational process of language, or always parallel to it. Our everyday assumption about vision perhaps goes like this: with our eyes we perceive a finite quantity of three-dimensional objects that appear in the present, at rest or in motion. What we see, we think, is what is, and where we stand in relation to these objects.

Read more

This is an abbreviated form of seeing, suitable for everyday use, which tells us as much about the possibilities of seeing as a children’s song played with one finger on the piano tells us about the possibilities of the instrument. I won’t start here with whether we can be sure that these objects exist in space at all. Much of the building blocks that make an object are made up of emptiness and electromagnetic voltages. This is for another day. But if you observe an object over the course of a few hours or a day, you will find that describing its colour, position, movement and stillness is quite complicated. Just the colour of any object in your environment is in a constant state of flux, the soft light red that an everyday object in your kitchen may show in the morning, brightens in the morning, washes out at midday, deepens in the afternoon hours, reflects in its own shadow at dusk, before turning a dull brown, then a grey in the evening, perhaps to be awakened by electric light to a completely different room. You all know the moment just before you decide to switch on the light, perceive this change that gives you a brief dizzying moment of the illusion of sight.
For the painter’s eye, this brief dizziness is the permanent state of the profession. After all, you are not actually seeing “the object”. The object is the result of your brain’s performance, a feat that presupposes that you do not constantly question the process of seeing, just like the illusionary permanence of the table in your dining room or your own person. This existential vertigo that lies before and after the certainty of the object is the space of art, from Thomas Tallis in music to Luc Godard in film to David Hockney to Annette Selle in the visual arts. Our brain weaves assumptions from information that our eyes can transmit to the brain in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum, a small section of this spectrum in the range from approx. 400 nanometres to 780 nanometres. We call this range light. Light – an electromagnetic wave – takes time to propagate. This means that every time we look at an object, an image or a person, we are irrevocably looking back in time. We can only really visualise this on a large scale.
The view into our Milky Way, which has a diameter of 100,000 light years, is a view that goes 100,000 years into the past. In comparison, the view into the past of the luminous blue in Annette Selle’s pictures is a journey into a much more recent past, barely perceptible perhaps, but no less real. The fact remains: everything that reaches us from the world is a sign from the past. The pictures that surround us here today are carriers of light, the medium of a past still in the presence of your direct presence in front of the object. When I talk about Annette Selle’s pictures, I am talking about spaces of light, about colours that are not until they re-emerge in your eyes, in your brain. Pictures that work with this very intention of being a space of light. Here you, the viewer, are the plaything of a double reflection.
Let me take you on another little scientific journey: Your brain works on the assumption that rays of light always propagate in a straight line. For this reason, objects in the reflection of a mirror appear as if they are in a separate room, even if you – standing in front of the mirror or shop window – understand that the light is actually reflected back from a smooth surface. You cannot see this. You cannot dispel this illusion with your knowledge; the mirrored object stands before your eyes “in the mirror”, albeit reversed. At the same time unreachable. But you can utilise this effect when you look at a picture. Stand in front of the picture as if in front of a mirror, close your eyes for a moment, open them again to look not at the picture but into it. this works, you can actually guide your perception in this direction, try it out. And then convince yourself that what you see there is what is reflected onto the surface of the picture from the actual space in which you are standing.
Then you are very close to the secret of the colour and the picture. Then you are in the presence of the “reality of reflection”, the reality of reflection in the present that Godard speaks of. Annette Selle explores – in her own words – precisely this “deep immersion in texture and colour, which fills every room with its presence, which creates access to a mystical energy and leads into a world of reflection and inner peace. The titles of her works hint at this aspect of light, energy and spirit: “The Spirits I Called” and “Angelic”. According to the Gospel of John: In the beginning was the Word. In it was life, and life was the light of men. These are all quiet, masterful nuances, very soothing in an age that strives for grand, linear explanations. Light and colour speak of a quiet, radiant persistence of an ongoing exploration of perception that is shared by artist and viewer. simple, quiet way to a life well lived, the works speak of this. They are beautiful, complex and simple at the same time. As you walk through this very special exhibition, I wish you inner stillness and a view from your perhaps no longer quite so impermeable, permanent space into these pictorial worlds. And let the pictures reflect themselves in the pictures. What happens when light meets light?

Joachim Pohl, 2014
First and foremost, Annette Selle’s paintings are eulogies to painting. Her compositions thrive on the fascination of well-balanced and sensitively applied layers of colour. The pigment bound in turpentine oil is heightened to its highest radiance in the stretched canvas square.

Read more

Lush yellows and warm orange tones light up from deliberately and slowly changing crusty colour fields. Unbroken blue resounds like a chime and fills the nocturnal room. The colour chord thus formed rises to a full sound, stirs our souls, descends over the mysteriously entangled and disguised pictorial worlds and takes us with it to the unknown place of the other self. It is an immersion into the very personal world of found spatial worlds, landscapes and imagined interiors: pictorial compressions of experienced external reality, which in the artist’s unrepeatable individual reflection become the painted image of his inner state.
Annette Selle’s painting is non-figurative. The pictorial plans she creates are not constellations of objects or living spaces that are directly modelled on the visible. Anything narrative or even anecdotal is omitted. Depictive object or figurative stagings are not used to reflect the existential state of mind. Her compositions, which slowly develop in the painting process, are reflections of mental states and formed bundles of ego-broken world experience. It is not about the depiction of seen living spaces. Rather, the painting itself becomes a necessary space for living and proving oneself. The search is not for the rather random detail of reality, the moving motif that cannot free itself from its prettifying and pandering gesture. With Annette Selle, the path is also the goal: for her, painting as a creative process becomes an indispensable search for and discovery of a form that is perceived as valid. The finally accepted pictorial pattern is experienced as a congruent cipher of the creative and self-affirming self.
The pictorial constructs organised by contours are unquestionably based on a sum of visual experiences which, as a substrate of experienced exterior and interior spaces and far removed from anything imitative, liberate themselves into self-sufficient pictorial panels. The great Alexander Camaro described this with the beautiful sentence: “The question of whether the painter’s imagination is representational or non-representational becomes irrelevant.”
In Annette Selle’s early paintings, the spatial moment seemed more strongly preserved. They still breathed depth and pictorial forms layered themselves into the ground. Nocturnal urban spaces and riverside landscapes opened up and enchanted the viewer. Today, the flatness of the picture is more emphasised, its own ornamentation. The illusion of spatial depth is reduced. The shapes occasionally seem to float, imaginary head abstractions, physiognomic and amorphous-biological elements emerge from mysteriously blocked pictorial dwellings. A warm-toned grey surface tilts into the ground and becomes a vague no-man’s-land, over which the night sky arches with a yellow glow. “Nocturnal Lightness”, “Musical Landscape” or “Breathlessness” open up sufficient associative potential for the viewer and invite a meditative approach to the pictures.
Her painting is conservative in its commitment to traditional means and sensual power.
Her position is explained by Delacroix’s maxim of the picture as a “feast for the eye”, which describes an artistic attitude that has not yet been abandoned. In this respect, her path is free of success-seeking market adaptation. Her painting eludes the jetstream of media mix and installation circus, of minimalist canvas emptiness or hypertrophic brushwork artistry. In contrast to the hasty complacency of painted dandelions, she focuses on solidity and solid painterly texture, creating pictorial works of great colour magic and sensual fascination. As a gateway to the inner world of the other creative self, they never completely give up their secret.

Peter Michael Dinter, 2022

Peace and serenity, depth and beauty, sometimes also devotion and transcendence – these are some, admittedly quite subjective, impressions that emerge and sometimes solidify when looking at Annette Selle’s pictures.

Well-made pictures, they should touch us, or better still inspire us, they provide us with food for thought and are at the same time an example of human and cultural dialogue. Imaginative pictures set off chains of associations in us, can be a mirror of the development of our time and, in our case, very concrete: the contemporary painting style and pictorial language of Mrs Annette Selle.

Read more

Cosmopolitan, shaped by a multitude of journeys and experiences, by other cultures, by the most diverse landscapes and climatic zones, from the bizarre European mountain massifs to the most remote island landscapes, the painter, who has also repeatedly explored graphic art and (clay) sculpture, has absorbed a multitude of experiences and impressions and this “dazzling mental storehouse” serves her from then on as inspiration and initiation for her art. It is both her programme and her duty. Probably also to relativise the nature of a fast-moving “city dweller” (Ms Selle was born in Berlin) and then to break it again in order to expand it with something new.
Annette Selle has taken her time in her studies and observations, she has analysed and sublimated, certainly also trying to condense “the essential”, perhaps also the archetypal, in the landscapes and the people. In her works on canvas, she is able to realise this through a flowing, sometimes abstract and structure-emphasising core. Her pictorial themes then rise up from the silky, pastel-coloured backgrounds like layers of panels or surfaces (bodies). Sometimes they are constructed, even more layered, as collages over pastose underpainted lengths of fabric. Soaked in shimmering oil paint, sometimes enriched with pure pigments. Elsewhere, entire spiral systems, overlapping circular surfaces, sometimes even dotted fields rise up out of the pictorial space and the superficially seen image seems to tilt, sometimes even shimmer, in favour of a multitude of corresponding meta-pictures.
Energetic yellow colours can shine brightly in Annette Selle’s oil paintings. They create excitement, they want to tantalise, to steal the phalanx from the delicate, sometimes dominant red tones, and to restore calm and contemplation. Immersion in ultramarine and deep blue grounds with an apparent loss of green components? But there is green in everything and the eternal questions of “more” or spirituality are raised. This door could now be opened, but Annette Selle’s pictorial worlds remain free, they are somehow also selfless, painted with little baroque, freed from dazzle and false pathos.
“Ein heiterer Spielraum des Seins” knocks on the doors of our minds and brings man as a spiritual being back into Selle’s pictorial space. People, mostly women in Annette Selle’s work, appear to us as “finite”, have their time and also shape their time. They are already painted over by Ms Selle, sometimes less clearly, sometimes even vaguely or to the point of unrecognisability, they seem to transcend, to go further, back into the landscape. Into an abstract, sometimes stony, but always animated and seemingly figurative, eternally changing nature.

Excerpt from the opening speech, Pritzwalk 2022

Christoph Poche

Annette Selle’s art deals with human universals on a fundamental and abstract level of art, namely the basic phenomena of colour and space, and when it comes to space, time is always indirectly involved.

Read more

In her painting, Annette Selle celebrates the reduction of illusionary landscape painting to the essential, to the projection of three-dimensional space into the two-dimensionality of the picture surface.

In her landscapes, colour serves Annette Selle above all as a deeply emotional carrier of mood. This becomes clear wherever the colours of the pictorial objects deviate from natural conditions, in the blue path in the work “The Other Side”, for example, or in “On the Horizon”, as if a disaster were lurking in the distance or beneath the ground and threatening us.
Just as the finished pictures have the peculiar power to attract the viewer and involve them in perceptual experiences, Annette Selle speaks of the production process as a confrontation that can drag on for weeks and whose outcome seems completely uncertain to her at times, until the respective picture in progress grips her and puts her in tension, in which the intermediate state of the picture she has reached sometimes draws her towards it, sometimes rejects it, and thus drives her forward until the tensions have finally been completely released in the painting process and dissolved and materialised in the picture.

From the opening text of the exhibition “Unmasked #1” at the Aquabit Gallery, Berlin, 2021

Christoph Tannert

…The large blue paintings by Annette Selle immediately draw you into the entrance area.
“Blue Memories” and “The Swarm – Blue”, both painted in oil on canvas, open doors to the realms of deeper perception. The artist has long studied the psychology of colour and what makes it possible for viewers to see themselves confronted with themselves. Her blue creates an atmosphere that is intense, but indeterminate in terms of its ontological status. This creates an emotional tone in the room that will affect those who enter unmasked in a psychological sense.

Katrin Bettina Müller, Gallery Tammen, 2014

I would like to give this introduction to Annette Selle’s painting the title “Living in colour”. For Annette Selle, colour is a material from which she builds and constructs her own world. Containers and envelopes, rooms and nested spatial structures, surfaces, floor plans and layouts: all of this can be found in great density in her work, from small postcard-sized drawings, to works in mixed media on paper, to large oil paintings.
Colour, one could almost say, always appears in a double function – once as a picture and once as a thing. The character of individual pictorial elements is almost object-like. The mass of colour is modelled in them. It does not simply fill a surface and a form, but gives it volume and a physical structure. For her, colour is not so much a means of representation as a material that allows her to immerse herself in the interior of things and almost mimetically imitate certain characteristics. The surface of her paintings is characterised by a rich texture, by a great differentiation in the nature of gloss and roughness, of density and permeability, of dry and solidified states, of loose weave and ornamental splendour.
When you enter the painter’s studio near Ruhlsdorf, in a large hall on a flat field, you soon realise how much her work is carried and held by a rhythm. What has been created over a period of five years reveals a great continuity in the development from picture to picture and a constant work on the transformation of the motifs. This painterly narrative flow continues without interruption and in a calmness that life and the world outside only very rarely exhibit. The pictorial world created in the paintings is one of great stillness and strength: in it you can catch your breath and recharge your batteries. It almost seems as if the pictures have allied themselves with the landscape outside, even if something completely different can be seen in them.

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.