Gouache on paper
56 x 76,5 cm (22 1/8 x 29 7/8 in) (unframed)
65 x 86 x 4 cm (25 5/8 x 33 7/8 x 1 5/8 in) (framed)
From a new series of large-scale gouaches, this highly abstracted work depicts the interior of a room, indicated by the grey area on top recalling a concrete ceiling, and a section of voluminous yellow drapes. The image draws on a building by the Swiss-born architect Albert Frey, who after his 1934 emigration to the US established what became known as "Desert Modernism," a distinctive style adapting to the landscape of the Western United States. Known as Frey House II—it was the architects second home—the structure was built in 1964 near Palm Springs, California. Given a sense of structure by the fragments of vertical and horizontal window frames, the large white expanse of unpainted paper makes this gouache a strikingly abstract work.
In her gouaches of architectural sites Isa Melsheimer constructs small autonomous worlds, seemingly detached from their real-world settings. The artist often chooses source material showing the building in their original condition, that is, without signs of subsequent decay or dilapidation and without later architectural or landscaping additions. Since the found photographs on which she bases the gouaches are often in black and white, the artist effectively reimagines the colors of the buildings and their interiors, unrestrained by the strictures of verisimilitude.