Ornament and Colour

Birgit Hessellund

A sheer and unabashed love of colour is the most significant quality in the paintings of Inge Rasmussen. It immediately attracts your attention, for she has a rare skill in making colours compliment each other, just like the instruments in an orchestra. Each has its own role within the total framework, but compliments each other, so no single one dominates to the detriment of the others.

Inge Rasmussen does not need dramatic motives or exaggerated forms of expression. She often finds the motive in her own livingroom, in everyday life and the familiar. But this magnificence and vibrance of colour, where smouldering red is kept in check by blue, is hardly compatible with the cool North. It stems from her fruitful encounter with the Orients riot of colour, and in particular that of Turkey, where she has been living for several years.

This confrontation with the rich ornamentation of Istanbul brings with it the love of decoration for its own sake, the rhythm of pattern which flows over the surface uniting the whole picture. Through this appreciation of the colour and ornamental quality of the Orient, Inge Rasmussen can be counted as one of the large group of colourists from Delacroix to Matisse.
The exact visual impressions are clearly on view, but the process significantly takes place on the surface of the canvas. Here the objects live their own life by virtue of their colour.


Birgit Hessellund