Works

Beyond PortLand (2022-2023) | Order list of available works here

Arcane Dignity
2022 | oil on canvas | 150 x 150 cm

Harvest Moon
2023 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

All In
2023 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Unfolding in Reminiscence

2022 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Looking at the works of Beyond PortLand (the ongoing series currently consists of 24 oil paintings on canvas and 16 on paper), is like seeing an array of scenes showing current and future conditions of our world. Rubica von Streng has developed a visual language that depicts the interrelation of humanity and nature by using a universal code of shapes and colors. Layer on layer, applied with von Streng's so-called arpeggio painting technique, her works unfold hitherto unseen portraits of the land.

 

By eliminating narrative references, she willingly exaggerates the advancing individualization of society: apparitional figures become indistiguishable from each other; they interpenetrate and diffuse through their bodyshell, merging with the territory. Individual traits show up as polymorphous fragments or disappear altogether. The bodies themselves become interchangeable, arbitrary – or even gaseous.

 

Von Streng's invitation to the viewers is as simple as it is obvious: Take your time, pause for a moment, and look closely in order to see things differently and to see different things.

Limits of PortLand (2020-2022) | Order list of available works here

Sound Life Cycle

2020 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Garden of Earthly Desires

2021 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Shelter

2022 | sculpture | oil on plaster | 32 x 20 x 18 cm

Hidden Diversity

2021 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Planet B

2021 | oil on canvas | 150 x 90 cm

Pillars of Creation X

2020 | oil on canvas | 100 x 80 cm

Transgression

2021 | oil on japanese paper | 79 x 53 cm

In her series Limits of PortLand, comprising 20 paintings oil on canvas, 20 paintings oil on japanese paper and one sculpture, Rubica von Streng broaches the issue of biodiversity loss, destruction of biotopes, migration and loss of people's homeland as a result of war and natural disasters, as well as numerous other consequenes resulting from human malpractice. Nonetheless, her works emphasize the necessity to conserve Earth as a place worth living, and to preserve the many wonders of nature  – so as humanity, flora and fauna can peacefully coexist, without having to relocate to a possible Planet B.

Towards PortLand (2018-2019) | Order list of available works here

Against It In Vain

2018 | oil on canvas | 160 x 103 cm

Musing

2019 | oil on canvas | 200 x 185 cm

Am I Elefant

2018 | oil on canvas | 200 x 185 cm

The series Towards PortLand (15 paintings, oil on canvas) combines characters and their surroundings in a novel manner. In the immediately visible layer, inner landscapes – moods and thoughts – are inseparably interwoven with external landscapes. On the one hand, those characters are infused with nature and environment; on the other hand, both factions are blended on multiple layers.

At the same time, the landscape refers to and shapes the characters in a distinct way: by visualizing their unique nature and personality without utilizing the traditional concepts of portrait painting. Thus, the boundaries between portrait and landscape painting are set aside and replaced by a pooling of interests, triggering esteem, desire, need and mutual dependency. One cannot – and even does not want to – exist without the other (anymore).

Dance of the Dead (2017-2020) | Order catalog here

Mulberry

2018 | oil on canvas | 170 x 160 cm

Arbor Vitae

2018 | oil on canvas | 180 x 170 cm

Dance of the Dead

2018 | oil on canvas | 180 x 170 cm

Ich bin bereit

2020 | sculpture | 125 x 30 x 30 cm

Famous Last Words

2020 | oil on plaster | 9 x 12 x 10 cm

The ritual of the Dance of the Dead, as well as its development through the centuries have mesmerized Rubica von Streng thoroughly. The force of expression, evoking the fugacity of life and the equality of all human beings in the face of death, are important subjects that society should be better aware of – even more so in radicalized and dogmatizing political times like ours. Between 2017 and 2020, the cycle of works, consisting of 47 paintings (oil on canvas, oil on wood) and 25 sculptures (oil on plaster, fimo) was completed. Dance of the Dead was shown in its entirety at Kulturkirche St. Jakobi, Stralsund, from May 19–July 30, 2023. The exhibition will be continued at the same venue from October 10–25, 2023.

 

“Rubica von Streng relies on a timeless view of the mystery of death – and this certainly as a reflection on our threatening present and with the claim to grasp any human dying. By means of strong and rather subliminal symbolism, she develops her own focal point: the threshold between life and death, where the drama of dying takes place as a death dance – whether shaken by a violent death or in impatient anticipation of a great redemption and freedom. What happens to people as soon as they enter this threshold, when individuality and identity fade away, when they become humans in themselves, the arch-symbol of our species? How do they move, in fear or ecstasy, and how does their metamorphosis proceed until dissolution in death? In her ‘Totentanz’ paintings, Rubica von Streng encircles this extreme situation of being thrown upon oneself, of the lonely human being who has no one at his side except, at times, death itself.”

Gabriela Ivan, art historian, Berlin

States of Transition (2021-ongoing) | Order list of available works here

States of Transition IX, XI

2021 | ink on japanese silk paper | 15.2 x 10.2 cm


What happens when what is transforms? In other words, gives space and time for a change of shape. Or cannot help but give space and time for it, since the circumstances require it. Deformations occur passively or actively. Or they develop from passive acquiescence to active creation if the process of deformation asks for (or favors) it.


The works of the series “States of Transition” show snapshots of gestalt changes, as if frozen at a certain point of deformation. It is as if time and form would have petrified in order to give viewers the opportunity to study this transitional state in detail before the process advances. The dynamics apparent in the drawings indicate that the end of the deformation has not yet been reached. It remains open to what result it may lead. In this respect, the content is similar to that of classic short stories: their beginnings and endings are abrupt; the action takes place during a limited period of time in a single location; they usually describe a conflict that leads to a turning point.

The quest for this turning point reflects one of the longings of today‘s society: many consider the status quo as unsatisfactory; they want a more dignified present, a future worth experiencing. Both do not come about automatically, but require new forms that must first be thought and felt –– yearned for, if you like.


Tayōna Fūkei (2020-ongoing) | Order list of available works here

TFD I

2020 | ink and watercolor on japanese kozo paper | 14.5 x 9.5 cm

TFD IV

2020 | ink and watercolor on japanese kozo paper | 14.5 x 9.5 cm

The heterogeneous and diverse landscapes of Japan are depicted in the series Tayōna Fūkei. In early 2020, on a long journey through the Land of the Rising Sun, Rubica von Streng was exploring urban metropolises like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, as well as rural areas such as the prefecture of Nara in the southern part of Honshu. The artist gathered a myriad of impressions that, after returning home, inspired her to create a series of 56 ink drawings on hand made paper (40 colored, 16 monochrome) in the following years, a selection of which was shown in the group exhibition paper works at Museum Schloss Mitsuko, Thürkow/Germany, in 2023.

Inner Vision (2015-ongoing)

Inner Vision XXIII

2016 | oil on canvas | 92 x 77 cm

Inner Vision XII

2016 | oil on canvas | 168 x 158 cm

Inner Vision – The Film

2016 | digital video | 3:34 min.

The series Inner Vision consists of charcoal drawings and several paintings (oil on canvas, oil on paper), depicting different states of personal introspection. In an accompanying shortfilm, six protagonists were asked to act out different emotional states. The protagonists could deliberately choose two emotions, and were filmed during their performances. The film was edited by the artist herself. The music score was written by Alexander Eulgem. Actors: Charlotte Gottfried, Tristan Bumm, Logan Dudek, Sophie von Minckwitz, Laura Andres, Robert Rolle.

Projects

Horse Racing – Racing Horses (2022)

Racing XX

2022 | watercolor on paper | 15 x 21 cm

Racing XIX

2022 | watercolor on paper | 15 x 21 cm

Racing IX

2022 | watercolor on paper | 8 x 21 cm

Athletic thoroughbreds, pushed forward on the homestretch by ambitious jockeys – the scenes of the watercolour series Horse Racing – Racing Horses capture decisive moments and movements on famous racecourses in Ascot, Hamburg, Baden-Baden and Berlin. The paintings were produced while standing close to the racetrack.

8:37 Prologue – Facing the Future (2021)

Facing the Future I

2021 | acrylic color on inkjet print | 100 x 80 cm

Eight billion people are currently living on Earth. Most of them dwell in urban settlements, many are suffering from inhumane conditions. Our planet is reaching its capacity limit; in the foreseeable future many regions will become uninhabitable. Catastrophic events, such as flooding, droughts and heatwaves are already becoming the new normal. Is the apocalypse about to begin?

 

The collaborative project 8:37 – Strategies to Save the World, conceived and produced with photographer and writer Frank Lassak, visualizes just what the name implies: various ways of how humans can adapt to a changing and increasingly hostile environment. The first part of the project, 8:37 Prologue – Facing the Future, focuses on enhanced body features, shown in five printed and over-painted photographic portraits (acrylic color on inkjet print; German Etching paper). Participants: members of performance collective Bipølar.

Tower of Maturity (2021)

Tower of Maturity

2021 | plaster and modelling clay | 40 x 40 x 60 cm

Tower of Maturity – The Video

2021 | video (loop) | 2:47 min.

The Tower of Maturity consists of numerous adjacently arranged denture skeletons – the sculpture‘s bearing support – which account for its characteristic conical shape. Although there are certain holes in the structure, the tower retains its stability. Concrete-colored modelling clay serves as a sealant between the denture skeletons.
A dialogue unfolds between the various elements of the sculpture: at the tip of the tower, two spokesmen – ostensibly facing each other – in reality are adressing different audiences. Inside the tower, at its base, a perpetual stream of political gibberish is played and emitted by a loudspeaker.

 

The actual talking reminds of typical political debates, often heard at the German Bundestag or other parliaments. While it makes the sculpture resilient, the modelling clay also hides the volatile contents of the tower: political babel that can only reach the public through the cracks. Thus, the tower illustrates a dilemma of parliamentary democracy: the discrepancy between political commitment through agile debate, on the one hand, and the vacuity of many political speeches, on the other hand. Lest we forget: maturity is not only a common right in parliamentary practice, it actually is an urgent duty.
Video text: Frank Lassak; Speaker: Christian Harting

An End to Jealousy (2019-2020)

An End to Jealousy VI

2020 | oil on canvas | 170 x 160 cm

An End to Jealousy II

2019 | oil on canvas | 150 x 130 cm

An End to Jealousy IV

2019 | oil on canvas | 150 x 130 cm

An End to Jealousy – Photographs and Video Stills

2019 | photographic c-prints, still images | various sizes

An End to Jealousy – The Short Film

2020 | short film | 18:30 min.

In 2019, Rubica von Streng collaborated with photographer and writer Frank Lassak to create the multi-media project An End to Jealousy, produced on location in Italy. It was completed in 2020 and deals with the fictional story of a married couple facing relationship fatigue, ageing and illness. In total, the project consists of 42 photographs, 8 paintings (oil on canvas), 25 charcoal drawings (story boards), 18 watercolor paintings, a 160-page book and a short film (18:30 min.), which premiered in 2021 at Schloss Berlitt/Brandenburg. Cast and crew (in alphabetical order): Sophie Ammann, Cynthia Enzenmüller, Marco Fanciullini, Emma Fiacchini,  Leonardo Greco, Christian Harting, Nadja Jeberien, Ludovica Pinna, Maurizio Possumato (†), Gianni Rossi, Laura Vanni.

The Street Photographs (2015-2020)

The pictures of the series The Street Photographs capture dynamics and occurrences in a nocturnal, almost unlit environment, void of any human figures. As such, they deliberately lack essential elements of street photography, transubstantiating the pictures so they become snapshots, mocking the original concept of the classic photographic genre. In total, the series consists of 50 digital photographs and several monochrome drawings.

In Restless Dreams (2015-2020)

In Restless Dreams is a continuation of The Street Photographs – except this time, the photographs show interior scenes in abandoned places, like ruins or defunct industrial buildings. Only available light was used in order to record the pictures. Dynamics and shapes are captured exclusively by the movement of the camera.

Early Films (2014-2015)