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"And I ... always with a desire to lose my way."

Edith Spira — a great drawer.

by Manfred Lang


Edith Spira calls her drawings, which are mostly in small formats, "Tageslinien" ("daily lines"). And it is perhaps selfish of me — but most certainly not surprising — to assume that these "Tageslinien" of hers are apparent — or indeed actual — messages addressed to myself. For as a matter of fact I do relate her drawn miniatures exclusively to myself. Believing that they only concern me. Because I can feel each line and annex it right away. And it simply annoys me when someone else — who is, in my opinion, clueless — passes a judgement about it before me.


After all they are my Tageslinien. Mine. Which "speak" to me. Which I retrace emotionally, which keep me company. Which I pursue until my cogitative sublimation. Leaving them behind again and another time departing with them for some place or other. Wherever it may be. Simply Edith's "Tageslinien," which became my "Tageslinien." Which I like to accompany me from time to time.

At each new viewing they seem familiar anew. And still a tiny bit different each time. Beautiful.


Or Edith Spira's "Letters". Addressed to me? Apparently and selfishly only readable by me — and yet often engimatically unreadable.

I want these letters exactly as they are.

These lines, points, ellipses, which have all "lost their way," which are enigmatic yet clear and unambiguous messages — which, granted, I cannot read, but which I nevertheless can sense, smiling. 


I admire the lines and strokes of her art on this timeless hand-made paper. This manifested past, which is brought to the present through Spira's work. And only through her is it shaped into an artwork-unit on the substrate.

"Letters" in whose throng of "Tageslinien" the art of drawing manifests itself.

And then the "Gardens." These geometrical-looking small fields, often only in variations of a single colour, which actually become — I can feel it and see it — an/my ideal garden.


From time to time one of Spira's telephone calls comes through from her second home in Norway. I'll be in Vienna for a few days. Shall we meet? Will you bring any new works? Not many, but yes, I will.


Or a message arrives in the form of an email. I don't draw much at present. I paint more. An image is attached. Austere Nature — almost hidden behind the "smudging" — which arouses curiosity, which demands to be discovered through uncovering. And again I see and feel the specialness of Spira's current work — at present painting, as it happens. A new maze ?


It is good that I have the privilege of knowing an artist who takes "pleasure" in critical examination.




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