White is white, we may say, just like in the song of the mid 1980s “Live is life”. Raimund Girke focused his paintings around the notion of white. White is pure energy he writes on his webpage summarising somehow his activity between 1986 and 1999 before he turned 70 years old. The energy of white can be experienced at the gallery and arts centre of Alex Vervoordt near Antwerp. Set in abundant white and otherwise empty space the paintings of white reflect Girke’s idea that white is rest and movement. The developmental process of white in the work of Raimund Girke reflects for me a conceptual proximity to the artists’ group of “zero”. Light and shadows are parts of the same coin. White is the sum of all colours, not only in the physical definition of it. Hence, white can serve as reflection of space and transposition of movement.
The experience in the gallery of Vervoordt allows to come to grips with our own perception of white. It needs a huge white space around the paintings to get into the mood of, maybe, purity. It is by putting colours together that white comes into existence in the spectators view. In seeing white, we see many additions of other colours. That creates the impression of energy. Up to you to test it, maybe, virtually live.