Born in Cologne, Germany, 1936
Lives and works in Aachen, Germany.

Working on Perception
The „Bagan Lacquer“ Objects in the Sculptural Work of Joachim BandauInvar-Torre Hollaus

Since the end of the 1960s, a distinguishing characteristic of the sculptural work of Joachim Bandau has been the unity of various work groups that display extraordinary diversity at the same time. Although to judge from their outward appearance and the completely different materials used each of these groups of works shows a high degree of individuality, their contents reveal that they have more in common than we would initially think. The stylistic diversity does not strike us as random in any way. It is rather the expression of the artist’s critical reception of his own creative work and the ongoing search for new possibilities of formulation. It speaks for the artist that, in this endeavor, he is never satisIied with tried- and- true solutions. On the contrary, showing great curiosity, an urge towards discovery, subtle intuition, but also perseverance and risk, he repeatedly experiments with materials he has never used before. Thus, he imbues his works with their own dynamics and vitality. This is how Joachim Bandau not only manages to deIine his artistic work in ever new ways, always positioning it anew within the context of contemporary art, but above all succeeds in linking his individual periods of creation to form a complex, coherent overall work oriented to dialogue.

Departing from one of his, to date, newest groups of works called „Bagan Lacquer“ - consisting of works in wood lacquered with Burmese resin and conceived as objects for the wall - the intention is to explain both the various aspects of perception, as well as the physical and visual materialization of the sculptures. These manifest themselves here in a particularly concise way, but they are also a logical and characteristic pattern of development in the overall work of the artist.

Catalogue, Joachim Bandau, Quodlibet, 2008 (p. 47)


The Watercolour Paintings
Linear Transparency - Compression of Space
Joachim Bandau

Basis of my watercolour paintings is the development of different systems of image creation: By this I mean the selection of a certain image-producing module and the work process which results from this. The linear works with their necessary processing steps and the resulting product are precisely planned. The much larger group of aquarelles are based on polyphonic structures. Each individual surface is permitted the greatest possible autonomy. Each new surface is the response to the previous one. These are intuitive arrangements. The individual, situation-related, steps of work suggest improvisation: They surround and intensify the basic subject. These are always decisions ad hoc. What conditions determine the creation of a surface? What role does chance play? Et cetera. The many-sided layering of transparent surfaces emerges from this process. Out of the compression of the surfaces comes a spatial structure which penetrates depth. The image is created from a dialogical relationship between the individual Fields among themselves and me as the artist in action. The path evolves from this work process without a speciFic knowledge of the goal to be achieved. The goal is the result of many work processes whose conclusion is the most difFicult of decisions.

Time is another important dimension of my aquarelles. The individual Fields emerge in a time sequence. I often spend months on a single work. Some have taken several years. The individual layers - more or less readable - document the history of a work. The number of individual steps in creating the work varies from sheet to sheet. Approximately 20 to 40 steps and sometimes even more. Much is concealed and remains undiscovered. The complexity of a work cannot be understood without analytical observation. The observer decodes the work in reverse. He or she experiences the time sequence of the artistic process. Only in time is the viewer able to comprehend the interaction between the individual Fields. Comprehension of this complex pictorial structure leads one to a suggested, sometimes impossible to totally fathom, spatial depth - a changing spatial depth in which the eye is seemingly lost, depending on the angle at which I am viewing the work or the side from which I enter the image.

Translation Florence Richter

From the catalogue: Joachim Bandau, Quodlibet, 2008