X Y Z Æ
The title of the three series X Y Z Æ is the same for each of them: “Triptych, The War, The Woman, The Peace”. X is the large one, Y the second largest, Z the middle sized, and Æ the smallest. So large, middle sized, small and smallest.
The word triptych is Greek and means three-fold. In the Middle Ages triptychs were constructed in three sections hinged together, which meant that the side panels could be folded shut over the middle panel. This is what Catholics do during the fast. In modern art this triptych structure has been used as a simple comic strip tying three pictures together in a narrative sequence as a way of expand- ing the works’ subject matter.
In 2014 I was in Dresden to see a large exhibition of a triptych by Otto Dix entitled The War. The show presented all of his sketches and preparatory drawings as well as documentation from the First World War, and a good deal of sketches made in the trenches.
Owing to the fact that the talk of war is again present in Europe and that we can discuss if the Third World War has already been going on for a decade, the stay in Dresden was a study visit with the intention of making a lithograph triptych at Christian Bramsen and friends in Paris.
Christian was asking me to make some large lithographs as part of a collaboration with the lithographer Stéphane Guilbaud and after considering the matter for a long time it ended up with this triptych.
In contrast to Otto Dix’ The War, my triptych The War, The Woman, The Peace is an attempt to argue the case that we do have a choice. War is not a deterministic condition but at best a part of a political process. Understanding the war is never a solution, but the goal is the feminine and peace. With time acting as a censor, artists are adhering to woman as a carrier of the fruit of love and on peace as the fruit that unfolds in the future.
The triptych’s multiplicity of layers and pictures is suggesting that it is up to us to interpret our place in the world. There are no easy answers to the complexity of the world we live in. The responsibility lies with the individual, which means everyone one of us.