Katrin Adler is a collage artist who lives and works in Bremen, Germany. She was born in Friedrichhafen in 1976. With a background in design she transforms paper and material samples left over in her studio into works of art.When did you start painting and what are your favorite motifs?
Even as a child, I used to cut out individual pieces I liked from magazines and use them to create posters or booklets. During my design studies and later as a freelance designer, I enjoyed the start of the design process the most because it is the most intuitive part, involving mood boards and a loose compilation of aesthetic parameters. For my first visualizations and presentations, I already worked in collage style back then to show how a print product could function, for example. It was only years later that I started making collages from paper samples and scraps of material and seeing them as art.
My art is not figurative, but remains abstract. I don’t want to get in the way of the viewer’s inner images. I use simple geometric shapes that I form into abstract shapes or surfaces. I don’t dictate anything, but open up a space of possibilities.
When you create a new work, how do you proceed? What comes first?
The first step is to decide to keep and store certain papers and materials. I have boxes of papers, sorted by color, that I cherish. I keep most of them for their color or for their texture and surface. When I start a new piece, I choose individual scraps from this raw material that I spontaneously like at that moment. I often gather several bundles of paper and staple each one together with a large paper clip so that I don’t mix them up later. Then I decide which paper selection I’m working with at that moment and start with the individual work: I cut, lay, glue, lay, cut … the process is gut instinct. My mind switches off and the combinations flow most easily from my hands.What do you draw your motivation from?
I’m motivated by interesting color combinations that I come across. The other day I was in hospital and there were forest green light switches everywhere with mint-colored stickers on them. It looked so good that I took a photo to remember the colors. I really want to make something out of it.
The state I’m in when I’m making collages is also very motivating: we live in such a complex world. Deadlines, roles that we slip in and out of, information, news … are constantly overlapping.
When I make collages, I have the feeling that my world is reorganizing itself. I create an inner balance in order to better understand myself in this complexity. It’s good when things that previously had nothing to do with each other come together.Your life without art would be …
Well thought-out, mind-controlled and structured, but more boring, emotionless and much less experiential.
What is currently the best art venue in your city?
Bremen has numerous art venues, galleries and museums. What I like best are the studios where people actually work. There are often open studio days where you can take a look inside these spaces. For example, the new “Zentrum für Kunst” in the Tabakquartier, the “Ogohaus”, the “Güterbahnhof Bremen” or the “Goliathhaus”, where I work.Learn more about the artist: