Ulrike C. Franz
Papiermühle & Presse

Artist Statement

Drawing with liquid inks and watercolors on paper was always a convenient and direct way to express my ideas. I love to shape abstract or fancyful landscapes, signs and symbols as well as plants, animals, cars, airplanes, all the things that I encounter in my surroundings. With these images, I mostly try to capture the “genius loci”, the nature, history and culture of the place that I currently live in. The interaction and intensity of colors and the impact of the paper on the imagery is important to me.
With its brightness, tactile and haptic qualities, the paper as a material and as a medium has always fascinated me. Since I learned how to form paper from my own tediously prepared paper- pulp, this became more and more the primare medium and a landmark of my artwork. With it ́s processual character, the hand-papermaking can be seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral world - as organic materials like cotton, hemp, bananas or okra as well as fruits or vegetable are transformed into another medium. Making paper is recycling, making something new out of the perishable. As I startet to run my papermill again, back here in Tuscaloosa, I began a whole body of work based on handmade papers from white cotton rags that are well sized, so I can use these sheets for printmaking, cyanotypes and watercolor-paintings as well, all of them in the same handy square size of 10 by 10 inches. The title of this is serie is „watching water“. During the last years, I constantly took photographs about the transparency, the viscosity and ever changing visual impression of this element that is present all the time – especially in Alabama with all the lakes, rivers, the sea and the huge amount of rain (that we had in the past summer). In a special project, I am exploring the properties of Alabama-Marble for processing and printing lithography. Stones are particulary interesting because they carry a long, almost eternal history of the place they are from.
I am intrigued by some oddities in visual perception, like for example optical Illusions or the transformation of shapes by looking through uneven Glasses or mirrors. With the water-watching project, I try to report my views by different media like painting, photography or printmaking. I want to bring all those media together and never stop with crossover-experimenting. I love to collaborate with other artists, poets and writers. Besides working in the studio, my favorites are watching contemporary art shows,
soaring, swimming, hiking and to traveling. Josef Albers´ Interaction of colors was very influential to me, as well as contemporary artists like James Turrell, Anish Kapoor or Bill Viola.


* 3.5.1961 in Reutlingen
1980-88 Studium der Kunstgeschichte in Tübingen und Basel
Künstlerische Ausbildung am Zeicheninstitut der Uni Tübingen bei Martin Schmid und Lothar Schall
1990-94 Mitarbeiterin der Galerien an der Stadt Esslingen
seit 1995 freiberuflich als Malerin tätig

September 2005-März 2006
Atelier-Stipendium in Szolnok, Ungarn

Mitglied im Verband Bildender Künstler/innen Württemberg

Einzelausstellungen (Auswahl)/single shows (choice)

1989 Aichtal-Bibliothek, Grötzingen
1990 Galerie im Ledergraben, Reutlingen
1992 Integrata-Galerie, Stuttgart-Möhringen
1994 Gärtnereihof Janssen, Reutlingen
1995 Rathaus-Galerie Balingen
1996 GENO-Bank, Stuttgart
1997 Dominohaus Reutlingen
1998 Tisoware, Reutlingen
Integrata-Galerie, Tübingen
1999 Stadtbibliothek Reutlingen
2000 Integrata-Galerie, Wien
2001 Rathaus Wannweil
2002 Rathaus Hechingen
2004 Forty-Five in Duisburg,
Schloss Monrepos in Ludwigsburg,
Veranstaltungszyklus 2004 der Hermann-Haake-Stiftung
2005 Rathaus Hochstadt, Dettingen
2006 Müvesztelep, Szolnok, Galerie der Künstlerkolonie
Verseghy Ferenc Könyvtár (Bibliothek) Szolnok
2007 Rotes Kreuz in Reutlingen
2010 Yellow-Hammer Galery in Tuscaloosa/Alabama, USA
2013 im BAMA-Theatre in Tuscaloosa und mit Susanne Immer in Goggle-ARTS in Reading/PY, USA

Ausstellungsbeteiligungen (Auswahl) Grpoup shows (choice)

1981-93 "Reutlinger Künstler" Spendhaus und Rathaus Reutlingen
1995 "Erdfarben", Rathaus Schönaich
1997 Kunsthalle Tübingen, Künstler/innen der Region
2000 mit dem VBKW Region Neckar-Alb in Hlinsko, Tschechien.
2004 mit dem VBKW