Petra Lange’s stones are what they are
Petra Lange is a stone carver. In her work, she focuses on the hardest matter: volcanic and prehistoric rock, on magma that has become the earth’s crust. All this does not exclude, however, that at times she enjoys working in soft stone, which is only in the process of its formation, like clay slate. Ceramic is also not unknown terrain to her. But also marble, the sculptor’s stone among stones, plays an important role in her work. Still, her love is dedicated to granite, diabase, labrador, and basalt, to name only four. And this love is anything but arbitrary: this love has to do with the seriousness of the real game called art. You might as well call it love of truth. And thus we’d rather say: Petra Lange is a stone shaper. The concepts of picture, ideal, copy, image – or even more pathetic – re-creation are not part of her artistic vocabulary, neither are current affairs of our trying times, nor fancy names or trendy titles. As such, you could describe her work as something without a direct link to reality, at times nonfigurative, in short: abstract. I argue this point: no category, no estimation could be less correct.
Whoever claims that her preference for hard, dense plutonic rock was not arbitrary at all, needs to give a content-related explanation for that – that’s what logic demands. Otherwise, this claim would be nothing but a mere assumption and absolutely inappropriate to understand a sculpture as such. Even more so: to encounter a sculpture as a personified experience. Instead of an outstanding aesthetic attitude, a mere idea of form. This is the difference. The artistic process of shaping a stone, or only the attempt of doing so, is a concretization of a substantial inner view, no matter if the object became tense or relaxed, aggressive or emotionally comforting.
This becomes only comprehensible, as we understand that our thoughts have no less impact on the course of the world than our deeds. If, however, our intellectually perceived realities have attained shape in artistically formed stones, visible and tangible, then these sculptures are no longer abstract or arbitrary or re-producible.